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October 26, 2011

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Jon Foley

Marc - I've been waiting for this to come out as a CD for over two decades. You're right - there are two copies of the LP available on eBay, but right next to me on my desk is my copy, which I dare say is the only extant one SIGNED by Herb Pomeroy and eight other members of the band which recorded this LP. And it was signed by them at the legendary El Morocco (run by my friends, the Aboody family) - the club where this recording was made. I've been trying to track down the producer/recording engineer Wil Morton for years to see if he still has the tapes (which obviously would have much more than the 41 minutes which is on the LP). Last I knew, he had retired from his job at WGBH-TV in Boston. Maybe Jordi Pujol of Fresh Sound can find him; if he can find that recently released Tony Fruscella session (long thought to be lost), he can find anything.

`Willie


Well even we here in Europe had a little Information about this LP and I am a lucky owner.
I do agree that probably Jori Pujol has the means to reissue a CD.
Anyway my LP copy is in excellent shape and I could make a good copy if needed.
Willie

`Willie


For the collector:
This is my stock of Herb Pomeroy recordings:

CD Pomeroy,Herb Herb Pomeroy Bigband Jazz at Sandys Red Rose Music 09
Pomeroy,Herb Jazz in a Stable 1955 Transition(jap) 1
CD Pomeroy,Herb Band in Boston/Life is a many splendored gig 1957-58 Fresh Sound 571
Pomeroy,Herb Trumpets out front (Disc one)see 30587 1957-58 Roulette(Vogue) 2 567
Pomeroy,Herb Pramlatta`s Hips 1980 Shia 1

Bruce Armstrong

When I checked in with Jazz Wax after coming to work this morning and saw a feature on Herb Pomeroy, my day really started right! When I saw some audio cuts were featured off of Serge Chaloff’s “Boston Blow Up!” I knew it would be a great day! I am typing this as I listen to Serge’s solo feature on “What’s New?”—a masterpiece. Herb’s playing and charts for small ensemble on that recording remind us of what was lost with his passing. Thanks for posting this feature on Herb’s big bands, Mark. I have owned both his big band recordings for many years—“Band in Boston” a big favorite--and will now set my sights on acquiring “Pramlatta’s Hips.” Calling Jori Pujol---Are you reading these comments

Joseph Knych

I had this record but stupidly sold it when I got rid of my LPs a few years ago. When I was in college, I remember celebrating one New Year's Eve at the El Morocco in Worcester.
BTW, he recorded his last big band session in SACD format called Herb Pomeroy Live at Sandy's issued by Red Rose Music in 2001.

Jeff Sultanof

I'm glad the SACD of the Pomeroy band was mentioned. Unfortunately, it can only be played on an SACD player, and they are quite expensive at this point. It was recorded in 1978 at 30 inches per second (twice as fast as most professional analog machines of the time). This is one of my favorite big band recordings. The band is fabulous and the sound is stunning. It is still in print, by the way.

Jon Foley

@Jeff Sultanof - Many, or at least some, Blu-ray players also play SACDs. My Sony S-370 does, and it wasn't expensive at all (which is one reason I bought it!).

I agree that the sound is outstanding on this SACD. Too bad producer/engineer Mark Levinson didn't do as good a job on the packaging as on the recording. No band personnel listed, no recording date given, two tunes listed as "Unknown," well-known composers' names misspelled - "Jacki" Byard, Bob "Friedman," etc. Yet he had space for page after page of ads for his audio products.

Tom Reney

How nice to see attention being paid the late, great Herb Pomeroy. We New Englanders were fortunate to have Herb in our midst for most of his career, and I too have fond memories of seeing him at the El Morocco.
There's a companion session to the Band in Boston date, vocalist Irene Kral's debut recording, The Band and I, which she made with Pomeroy in ‘58. Irene had a fondness for the hip tunes of Tommy Wolf and Fran Landesman, and right out of the gate she recorded their originals It Isn't So Good and This Little Love.
Herb figures prominently in Jack Chambers' biography of Dick Twardzik, Bouncin' With Bartok, which offers a comprehensive look at the Boston scene in the 40's and '50's. Herb's devotion to Twardzik, who died of a drug overdose in 1955 at age 24, included an annual pilgrimage to his grave. The telling will tug at your heart.
I got a great story from Herb about his first night playing with Duke Ellington for an article I wrote on Duke for the Boston Globe Magazine in 1999. Drop me a line at New England Public Radio and I’ll send you a copy.

James Cimarusti

There is also some great Herb Pomeroy playing on John Lewis' "The Wonderful World of Jazz" on Atlantic Records.

Justin Freed

All I can say, as a denizen of the Stables, is amen. What a scene! Jaki Byard, Dick Twardzik, Sam Rivers, Joe Gordon, Ray Santisi, Clifford Brown sitting in, the list is endless. Herb is profoundly missed by all who heard and knew him him. His stories were like manna from heaven. His knowledge and humanity unsurpassed. My regret is that I never got to interview him. I believe that there is some oral history by him. Does anyone know about it?

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  • Marc Myers writes on music and the arts for The Wall Street Journal. He is author of "Why Jazz Happened" (Univ. of California Press). Founded in 2007, JazzWax is a Jazz Journalists Association's "Blog of the Year" winner.
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