It's hard to put the genius of Woody Herman in words – but that's something we don't have to do, thankfully, as this massive box set provides a wonderful illustration of everything that made Woody such a standout in his generation! Sure, Herman was a bandleader with a clarinet – but that's where any similarity to other large groups stops – as Woody was always open to new ideas, including influences from bebop, modern jazz, R&B, jump blues, and other styles – and was always changing up the way he approached his music and arrangements, not just changing the lineup of his famous bands, but also breaking out into new recording possibilities too! This package captures Herman at three important parts of his career – early Decca Records 78rpm singles, which show all those modern edges that Herman created on the large ensemble jazz scene, thanks to key modern players; his huge amount of music for MGM
, where Herman also really opened up as an overall entertainer, and was able to take on just about any jazz style with effortless ease, and become quite a singer as well; and his rare 50s material for his own self-run Mars label, an imprint for 78rpm singles that linked Woody much more with the growing R&B indies of the time. And as much as we love Mosaic for LP-related box sets, we often feel they do an even more crucial job with sides from this 78rpm era – proving great sound, missing notes, and a sense of completeness that you don't even get if you're a collector of the original format. 7CD box has the usual great Mosaic presentation and copious notes – and a total of 141 tracks in all.
(Limited to 2000 copies.)