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Woody Herman’s Early Work Collected on Mosaic

Mosaic Records recently released The Complete Columbia Recordings Of Woody Herman And His Orchestra & Woodchoppers (1945-1947), a seven-CD box set that documents the early evolution of the widely influential bandleader. The set contains the work of Herman’s First Herd, plus first recordings by the Second Herd and the “group within the group,” the Woodchoppers.

Woody Herman’s career as clarinetist, saxophonist, vocalist, sideman and bandleader was destined for greatness as soon as he hit the road back in 1932 with Tom Gerun’s Californians. His magnetic stage presence, ability to sing novelty and ballad numbers as well as his agility on all saxophones was admired by other bandleaders whom he joined like Gus Arnheim and more important, Isham Jones. His tenure with this bandleader and prolific composer turned into gold when Jones retired from leading the band and a cooperative formed with Woody as its leader.

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