A very unusual side of Woody Herman
's career – one that features the mid 50s octet he put together to play live shows in Las Vegas! The lineup in the group is unusual – with two trumpets by Dick Collins and Johnny Coppola, bass trumpet by Cy Touff, tenor by Richie Kamuca, piano by Norman Pockrandt, and drums by Chuck Flores – plus clarinet and vocals from Woody
himself, all in a very grooving sort of style! Arrangements are by Coppola, Touff, and Ralph Burns – and the vocal numbers really set the sound of the record strongly – showing a lively, entertaining side of Herman
's talents that didn't always come through on other records. The use of trumpets, especially bass trumpet, makes for a very heavy bottom sound – especially considering that there's no bass in the group – and titles include "Bass Face", "Junior", "The Boot", "9:20 Special", "Bag's Groove", "Broadway", and "Wailing Wall". CD then moves on to feature 7 more numbers from a fuller Woody Herman
band in 1956 – with Kamuca, Collins, Victor Feldman, and Vince Guaraldi – on titles that include "Pinetop's Blues", "Blues Groove", "Trouble In Mind", "Smack Dab In The Middle", and "I Want A Little Girl".
(Out of print.)