This CD consists of 24 numbers recorded during rehearsal in New York by the Woody Herman Orchestra for broadcasts on CBS Old Gold Cigarettes summer radio shows in 1944. The band had just undergone signifcant personel changes, marking the arrival of Pete & Conte Candoli on trumpets, Bill Harris on trombone, Flip Phillips on tenor sax and an exciting new rhythm group consisting of Ralph Burns on piano, Billy Baur on guitar, Chubby Jackson on bass and Dave Tough on drums. This renovated Woody Herman orchestra became known as “The First Herd.” The repertoire consists of many Woody Herman standards, some new tunes and popular favorites. Included are many great arrangements by Neal Hefti and Ralph Burns. The music on these rehearsal sessions reveals the Woody Herman Orchestra well on their way to a peak of musical artistry and public acclaim which they would never again attain.
Woody Herman (leader, alto sax, clarinet & vocal), Neal Hefti (trumpet, arranger), Pete & Conte Candoli (trumpet), Ed Harris (trombone), Flip Phillips (tenor sax), Ralph Burns (piano & arranger), Billy Baur (guitar), Chubby Jackson (bass), Dave Tough (drums).