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Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Woody Herman Sextet At The Roundtable

Just A Child
Woody Herman Sextext At The Roundtable
Forum Records SF 9016
A Division Of Roulette Records Inc.

Woody Herman - Alto Sax & Clarinet
Nat Adderley - Trumpet (Courtesy of Riverside Records)
Charlie Byrd - Guitar
Eddy Costa - Piano & Vibes
Bill Betts - Bass
Jimmy Campbell - Drums

From the back cover: Herman was playing great jazz horn with small combos when the big, arranged bands were all the thing. And he was leading big, new, expensive bands in the days when anybody could tell you the big band business was dead. Now he comes back on this record, "Woody Herman Sextet At The Roundtable," with a small group. And, as might be expected, he has reached out for some of the youngest and most forward thinking musicians to be grabbed. With Herman alternating between clarinet and alto, this group features the brilliant Charlie Byrd on guitar, using a style which somehow makes the more familiar heavily amplified guitar sound like something out of a Hawaiian strolling group. Also present is Eddy Costa, well known to younger cats than myself as the most explorative of pianists, but who on this record will knock you out on vibes.

And there is Nat Adderley, finally doing with a trumpet so many of the things he was previously indicated he wants to do. And for bass there is Bill Betts and on drums we have Jimmy Campbell. With considerable shame I must admit this is my first meeting with theses lads. But just listen to the background rhythm they give to the Sidney Bechet masterpiece, "Petite Fleur" and you'll see what I mean. – Robert Sylvester

From Billboard - May 4, 1959 (Roulette R25067 review): The Herman name should prove a draw to this item. Herman gives ample solo room to his sidemen in the package. There's some fine work by Nat Adderly, Eddie Costa and Charlie Byrd and support by Jimmy Campbell on drums and Bill Betts on bass is also noteworthy. The tunes are interesting. Herman is heard on both alto sax and clarinet to good advantage. With exposure, this can sell. "Just a Child" is an excellent track.

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