Sunday, May 21, 2017

Toshiyuki Miyama & New Herd - 1974 - New Herd

Toshiyuki Miyama & New Herd 
New Herd

01. Theme 0:38
02. Donna Lee 5:35
03. Sniper's Snoose 5:56
04. Furisode (A Long-Sleeved-Kimono) 5:17
05. Kappa Shijo (A Poetic Sentiment For A Kappa) 10:30
06. La Fiesta 6:55
07. Theme 0:37

Recorded 27 September 1974 at Aoi Studio, Tokyo.
Commemorative reproduction of the performance at the Monterey Jazz Festival 1974.

In case one harbors any doubt about the kind of big–band Jazz championed by Toshiyuki Miyama’s Tokyo–based ensemble, the phrase “New Herd” should be a dead giveaway. The band is forged in the swaggering image of Woody Herman’s legendary Thundering Herds, an imprint that is quickly borne out on these two discs, recorded in 1974 and ’75, respectively. New Herd was produced in a Tokyo studio in September ’74 to commemorate the band’s well–received performance that year at the Monterey Jazz Festival; “A” Train, completed the following May (in the same studio but with an audience), has been reissued on CD to mark the centenary in April ’99 of Duke Ellington’s birth. Unfortunately, as both began life as vinyl LPs, their combined playing time (84:08) is only modestly beyond the limits of a single compact disc. The similarity to Herman is indelibly etched on “Donna Lee” and “Sniper’s Snoose,” the buoyant swingers that open New Herd. Woody would’ve loved ‘em, and so would Buddy Rich, as drummer Isao Yomoda is clearly one of his ardent disciples. The tempo (but not the intensity) slows for “Furisode” and “Kappa Shijo” before Chick Corea’s mercurial “La Fiesta” (with a galvanizing solo courtesy of pianist Kiyoshi Takano) and the New Herd’s theme song wrap up a brief but consistently rewarding session.

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