Herb Pomeroy, Lennie Johnson, Joe Gordon, Bill Berry (tp), Bill Legan, Gene Di Stasio (tb), Boots Mussulli, Charlie Mariano (as), Zoot Sims, Jaki Byard (ts), Dean Haskins, Jimmy Mosher (bs), Ray Santisi (p), John Neves (b), Jimmy Zitano (d)
Reference: FSRCD 571
Bar code: 8427328605717
Includes a 20-page booklet with recording details, extensive notes and rare photos.
The Herb Pomeroy big band was already a Boston institution when it stood New Yorks Birdland on its ear for two weeks in May 1957. It was a brassy, exciting and swinging 16-piece powerhouse, strong on ensembles and admirably disciplined. The band sought variety, rather than being a prisoner to any one style, which was all to the good, considering its fine writing and even better playing precision; its book was wholly its own, iincluding scores by the leader and members of the band. A stunning roster of soloists included the leader, Joe Gordon, Charlie Mariano, Boots Mussulli, Bill Berry, Lennie Johnson, Varty Haroutunian, Gene DiStasio, Jimmy Mosher, Ray Santisi, and John Neves. And a further plus was the fact that Zoot Sims was featured as a guest tenor soloist on the bands first album. Any big band fan is sure to enjoy this set tremendously.
-From the inside liner notes.
-Band in Boston
"Herb Pomeroy sporadically led big bands throughout his career, but this studio date is one of his best, mixing elements of both swing and bop. Many of the musicians won't be all that familiar to younger jazz fans, with trumpeter Bill Berry and alto saxophonist Charlie Mariano being the best-known players present. Pomeroy utilizes a number of different contributors for his charts, although the two jazz standards, "Woody 'n You" and "Lush Life," easily stand out above the other tracks; Berry takes top honors with his solo on both selections. The leader, also a trumpeter, restricts himself to just one solo, on "The Friar and Dr. Goulding." Issued by United Artists and long out of print, consider this LP to be a collectable."
-Life Is A Many Splendored Gig
"One of trumpeter Herb Pomeroy's very first recordings as a leader is this big-band session from 1957. It features a number of young musicians and jazz educators; the man who gained the most fame in the band is Jaki Byard, though he is heard exclusively on tenor sax instead of piano. The charts played by the band come from a variety of contributors, giving the band a diversity of sound without the bombast of Stan Kenton (Pomeroy's former employer). Among the highlights are Boots Mussilli's reworking of "Sweet Georgia Brown" (entitled "Jack Sprat") and Byard's sauntering "Aluminum Baby," with the latter piece focusing on section work and a brief bass solo by John Neves [...] Issued on LP in 1957 by Roulette and long out of print, it finally reappeared as a Fresh Sound CD over four decades after its initial release. Highly recommended."
Both by Ken Dryden -All Music Guide