Weekend Extra: Herman Before The Herd

Two year after he took over the Isham Jones band, Woody Herman had infused it with his personality and leadership. We see and hear evidence in this piece from a film short made in 1938. It may seem a quaint choice of material, but in the late thirties, King Oliver’s “Doctor Jazz” was still a minor staple in the repertoires of groups small and large. This is the polished pre-Herd Herman enjoying a novelty piece that he had recorded for Decca.

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