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
02. Willow Weep For Me
03. Bidin My Time
04. Alone Together
05. Moon Song
07. I Wont Dance
08. I Guess Ill Have To Change
09. Cant We Be Friends
10. Comes Love
11. Evrything Ive Got
12. Isnt This A Lovely Day
13. I Wonder
14. A House Built On A
15. Pardon My Pretty Baby
16. Something I Dreamed
17. How Long Has This
18. Until The Real Thing
19. Do Nothin Till You Hear
20. Youre Blase
21. Moon Got In My Eyes
22. There Is No Greater
23. The Folks Who Live
25. Darn That Dream
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) and 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) and Jo Jones (d). Marty Paich (arr & cond). Recorded in New York, on 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) and Alvin Stoller (d). Marty Paich (arr & cond). Recorded in Los Angeles, on 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) and Alvin Stoller (d). Frank DeVol (arr & cond). Recorded in Los Angeles, CA, on 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) and Alvin Stoller (d). Frank DeVol (arr & cond), plus 20 strings. Recorded in Los Angeles, CA, on September 22, 1957.
-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."