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If there is something for which we can especially thank Norman Granz, it is that he recorded Woody Herman, the singer, under such ideal circumstances. On top of that, Woodys own background and memory lend great depth to the lyrics found here. In some tunes we hear him backed by combos, ranging from medium to small, that feature top notch jazz soloists including Ben Webster, Harry Sweets Edison, Jimmy Rowles, Barney Kessel, Herb Geller, and Charlie Shavers.
In others,he is well supported by a brassy big band conducted by Frank DeVol who also led a string orchestra on a final session which had the bonus of the stellar jazzmen, Ted Nash and Bill Harris. But in each context Woody is his wonderfully relaxed self, singing with an ardent yet controlled emotion that brings out and enhances every subtle nuance of the songs, ranging from sad, to bittersweet, to triumphant, all most particularly brought into focus by Woodys own delightful, warm, wise, unsentimental (but romantic), and unpretentious, swinging singing.
01. Makin' Whoopee (Donaldson-Kahn) 3:29
02. Willow Weep For Me (Ann Ronnell) 3:37
03. Bidin' My Time (G. & I. Geshwin) 3:27
04. Alone Together (Schwartz-Dietz) 3:07
05. Moon Song (Johnston-Coslow) 2:33
06. Louise (Whiting-Robin) 3:22
07. I Won't Dance (Kern-McHugh-Hammerstein II) 2:39
08. I Guess I'll Have To Change My Plan (Schwartz-Dietz) 2:52
09. Can't We Be Friends (Swift-Dietz) 3:24
10. Comes Love (Tobias-Brown-Stept) 3:27
11. Ev'rything I've Got (Rodgers-Hart) 3:02
12. Isn't This A Lovely Day (Irving Berlin) 3:20
13. I Wonder (Gant-Leveen) 2:25
14. A House Built On A Strong Foundation (Styne-Kahn) 2:39
15. Pardon My Pretty Baby (Rose-Meskill-Klages) 2:29
16. Something I Dreamed Last Night (Fain-Yellen-Magidson) 3:09
17. How Long Has This Been Going On? (G. & I. Geshwin) 2:54
18. Until The Real Thing Comes Along (Holiner-Nichols-Cahn-Chaplin-Freeman) 2:35
19. Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me (Ellington-Russell) 3:51
20. You're Blase (Hamilton-Sievier) 3:06
21. Moon Got In My Eyes (Johnston-Burke) 2:56
22. There Is No Greater Love (Symes-Jones) 3:03
23. The Folks Who Live on the Hill (Kern-Hammerstein II) 4:23
24. Home (Van Steeden-Clarkson) 2:48
25. Darn That Dream (Van Heusen-DeLange) 2:48
Tracks #1-12, from the 12" LP "Songs for Hip Lovers" (Verve MGV 2069)
Tracks #13-14, from the 7" single (Verve V-10053) which has never appeared on LP or CD before.
Tracks #15-25, from 12" LP "Love Is The Sweetest Thing" (Verve MGV 2096)
Personnel on "Songs for Hip Lovers"
Tracks #1-6: Woody Herman (vcl), Harry "Sweets" Edison (tp), Ben Webster (ts), Jimmy Rowles (p), Barney Kessel (g,) Red Mitchell (b), Larry Bunker (d). Marty Paich (arr & cond).
Recorded in Hollywood, January 11 & 12, 1957
Tracks #7-12: Woody Herman (vcl), Charlie Shavers (tp), Bill Harris (tb), Hal McKusick (as), Jerry Cook, Bob Newman (ts), Jack Nimitz (bs), Lou Stein (p), Billy Bauer (g), Milt Hinton (b), Jo Jones (d). Marty Paich (arr & cond).
Recorded in New York, March 19, 1957
Tracks #13-14 with the Marty Paich Septet: Woody Herman (vcl), Harry "Sweets" Edison (tp), Herb Geller (as), Ted Nash (ts), Jimmy Rowles (p), Barney Kessel (g), Joe Mondragon (b), Alvin Stoller (d). Marty Paich (arr & cond).
Recorded in Los Angeles, April 18, 1957
Personnel on "Love Is The Sweetest Thing"
Tracks #15-20 with Frank De Vol and His Orchestra: Woody Herman (vcl), Frank Beach, Pete Candoli, Conrad Gozzo, Ray Linn (tp), Bill Harris, Joe Howard (tb), George Roberts (v-tb), Skeets Herfurt (as), Ted Nash (as, fl), Georgie Auld, Ted Romersa (ts) Chuck Gentry (bs), Jimmy Rowles (p), Al Hendrickson (g), Joe Mondragon (b), Alvin Stoller (d). Frank DeVol (arr & cond).
Recorded in Los Angeles, September 25, 1957
Tracks #21-25 with Frank De Vol and His Orchestra: Woody Herman (vcl), Bill Harris (tb), Ted Nash (as, fl,) Jimmy Rowles (p), Al Hendrickson (g), Joe Mondragon (b), Alvin Stoller (d). Frank DeVol (arr & cond), plus 20 strings.
Recorded in Los Angeles, CA, September 22, 1957
Original liner notes by Norman Granz & Nat Hentoff
Produced for CD release by Jordi Pujol
Blue Moon Producciones Discograficas S.L.
-Songs For Hip Lovers
"Woody Herman left his clarinet and alto sax behind for this all vocal release. Herman is a swinging, friendly singer heard doing such time-tested standards as the humorous "Makin' Whoopee," a more upbeat than typical "Willow Weep For Me," and "I Won't Dance." The musicians from each of the two sessions provide strong accompaniment: "Sweets" Edison, Charlie Shavers, and Ben Webster are outstanding and Marty Paich's arrangements fit Herman's style rather well. Although not an essential CD for everyone, this is a fun session that shouldn't be dismissed out of hand."