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December 1998

Woody Herman
Keep On Keepin' On
Chess Records

The 1968-70 Woody Herman bands, though not his best, were solid, hard-driving outfits. Here, however, he's saddled with some inappropriate pop tunes, e.g. "Light My Fire," "Smiling Phases." The charts, by Richard Evans and Alan Broadbent, are too often heavy handedly written and pretentious somewhat like bak Stan Kenton. Soloists, tenormen Sal Nistico, Frank Vicari and Frank Tiberi and trumpeter Tom Harrell make valuable contributions but there's too much bombast.

Originally published in December 1998
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