Woody Herman

Woody Herman (actually Woodrow Charles Thomas Herman, born May 16, 1913 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, † 29 October 1987 in Los Angeles, California ) was an American jazz clarinetist, singer and bandleader.


Herman, who was considered a musical prodigy on the clarinet, has performed publicly at age nine in Vaudeville on ( as a singer and dancer). In 1930, he moved away from Milwaukee, taking over after brief stint playing with Harry Sosnick and Gus Arnheim 1936, the core of the Big Band of Isham Jones, who he had been a member since 1934. 1936, the Jones band their only chart hits with Hermann as a singer with the song Life Begins When You're in Love and There Is No Greater Love.

Woody Herman was an outstanding clarinet virtuoso, life strongly influenced by the playing technique Frank Trumbauers. He set the course of his career together numerous successful orchestra.

Band History

The first, which emerged from the Jones - band formation Hermans initially called The Band That Plays The Blues; The end of 1936 the band played their debut at the Roseland in Brooklyn and in October 1937 had a first minor hit with I Double Dare You ( # 18). In 1939, he landed with Woodchopper 's Ball a hit, which has sold over one million copies. This was the breakthrough as one of the leading orchestras in the late swing era. Important musicians of the time were Joe Bishop and Gordon Jenkins. The end of 1939 they replaced the Glenn Miller Band in Glen Iceland Casino and played twice in the Famous Door.

He called his later orchestral stove or Herman's Herd. Famous musicians who played in his big bands included the rhythm section of drummer Dave Tough, bassist Chubby Jackson, guitarist Billy Bauer and pianist Ralph Burns and saxophonist Stan Getz and Flip Phillips and trumpeter Shorty Rogers and brothers Pete and Conte Candoli. Rogers was just as Neal Hefti and Ralph Burns also worked as an arranger for Herman. In the first " flock" had hits such as Herman Caldonia, Laura and Northwest Passage. She also impressed the classic stock - Igor Stravinsky was so deeply impressed by the skills of the band that he the Ebony Concerto composed for her in 1945. Singer in the First Herd was Frances Wayne; with it, the band had a Hiterfolg with Happiness Is a Thing Called Joe.

After Dave Tough, Hefti and Wayne had left the band, Woody Herman made ​​some line-up changes; Early in 1946 came the vibraphonist Red Norvo. After a pause he asked in 1947, " the second flock" in Los Angeles together with the legendary Four Brothers sax section, then from Getz, Zoot Sims, Serge Chaloff, Herbie Steward (1948 Al Cohn instead Steward, later with Gene Ammons Jimmy Giuffre, Richie Kamuca etc.). The number was composed by Jimmy Giuffre ( for three tenors and a baritone) and gave each of the "brothers" solos in front of the interaction in the final. The second herd with which he took up also bebop currents (as in Lemon Drop ), existed until 1949, when Herman accepted an engagement in Cuba, the third herd from 1949 to 1955 with her., He undertook a tour of Europe in 1954. Thereafter played he alternately in small combos and for larger tours (such as in South America, 1958) with big bands.

By the fourth herd (from 1963) he went on tour again, eg 1965 at the Antibes Festival and the Basin ' Street West in San Francisco, where the live album Woody's Winners was recorded. 1966 guested Herman in Europe in 1968 at the Newport Jazz Festival and 1969 in Germany. In October 1974 he accompanied with his orchestra at the Frank Sinatra TV Concert The Main Event at Madison Square Garden, the world reached one billion viewers and stopped the TV reaches record the moon landing. Until the 1980s, he was successful with his Thundering Herds.

In the 1950s and 60s Herman Big Band experimented in many cases also with elements of modern jazz styles such as cool jazz and bebop, which were cleverly linked with the forms of traditional jazz. Besides its importance as one of the leading Swing clarinetists (along with Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw), it was particularly Hermans ability as an organizer of innovative and creative ensemble that makes him stand out from the personalities of the jazz of the 20th century.

The singer

His biographer George T. Simon also points out its importance as a singer; He sang a lot of comedy, blues and swing titles but most impressed as a ballad singer, as in It's a Blue World, This Time the Dream 's on Me or I'll Remember April. He also sang Exotica as Pancho Maximilian Hernandez and a Cowboy Rhumba and was a duet partner for Bing Crosby, Peggy Lee, Billy Eckstine, Dinah Shore, and Nat Cole. After his singing number Laura was successful for Columbia, he took in 1957 with accompanying musicians such as "Sweets " Edison, Charlie Shavers, Ben Webster and Marty Paich as an arranger Album Songs for Hip Lovers on. The author Will Friedwald points out that Herman was known primarily as a singer before with Woodchopper 's Ball got his big Instrumentalhit 1939, and his singing encompassed all forms of singing musicians of the 30s, 40s and 50s; " His voice was important to him as a child star in vaudeville and then as a sideman in several of the leading white Dance bands of the thirties ," [ Friedwald 1] as Tom Gerun Harry Sosnick, Gus Arnheim and Isham Jones. With soloists from the orchestra Herman Jones presented his own band That Plays the Blues lineup together. Jack Kapp sat as Herman B band with titles, which otherwise no one wanted to play. At the beginning of 1939 held Hermans singing hits step with its instrumental success numbers. [ Friedwald 2]


"We actually never had the feeling to work for these people, but rather with him. It recognizes what we do, and he leaves us also feel. And the guys recognize him and respect him. Thus, they are even more so. "

" No well-known band leader has been more appreciated by the men who work for him, as well as those for whom he worked. "