Herb Pomeroy: A Splendored Gig - JazzWax

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January 07, 2010


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Larry Kart

Wish I still had my copy of "Life Is A Many Splendored Gig" and its follow-up album on United Artists, "Band In Boston," which included a fine Bob Freedman ballad feature for Charlie Mariano, "On Another World."

YouTube tells me that the lineup on the "It Could Happen To You" clip is:

Concert at Amesbury Middle School in March 2003. Herb Pomeroy - Trumpet, Dick Johnson - Reeds, Ryan Parker - Piano, John Repucci - Bass, Les Harris Sr - Drums

There are other clips from that concert.

Jon Foley

Marc -
A few notes on your Herb Pomeroy article:

"...trumpeter Herb Pomeroy briefly led a big band in the late 1950s." While the band with the personnel which recorded "Many Splendored Gig" existed in the 50s, Herb maintained his big band from the 50s right up to the 1990s, so their existence can't really be called brief. I heard them as late as 1994 in Rhode Island and they were outstanding. Because of his teaching duties, they couldn't play regularly, but they never disappeared. They had a long Monday night residency at the legendary El Morocco in Worcester, MA.

"Most of the tracks on the album are Pomeroy originals." Actually, only one tune is composed by Herb, although I believe he did some arranging on other compositions. By the way, the title of Jaki Byard's "Aluminum Baby," with its Ellington-sounding reed section, is a play on the title of Ellington's "Satin Doll."

The other albums recorded by this edition of the band are "The Band and I," backing singer Irene Kral, and the long out of print masterpiece, "Band In Boston." Two later recordings by the band are "Live At Sandy's" on Red Rose Music (an SACD), and "Pramlatta's Hips," an LP recorded live at the El Morocco. Why some company (Hello, Mosaic - anyone home?) hasn't put out a box set collection of all these recordings is a mystery to me. I'm sure the Europeans, probably Fresh Sound, will eventually do it; I hope it's in my lifetime!

Keith Fiala

Maynard spoke fondly of Herb... there were many conversations on the bus late at night where Herb's name came up! Herb has a completely different vibe than what Maynard does in listening to them play... but that's what makes the music so great!

Keith Fiala

Peter Roberts

I first heard the Herb Pomeroy Big Band via Willis Conover's Voice of America jazz show, a short wave broadcast out of Tangier. I was in the UK then and the reception was less than ideal, but it was so obviously a great band. In 1959 I emigrated to the US and landed up in the Boston area, and to my delight I heard of The Stable. At the first opportunity I headed there and got immersed in the great sound of that band. The acoustics of the room were very loud - an octagonal space with shiny wood panelled walls. You had to be there to understand the effect. I wish I could lay my hands on "Band in Boston" and "Many Splendored Gig" in CD form at a reasonable price - but I did get to hear them live all those many years ago. Wonderful.


Great news! Fresh Sound has issued "Band in Boston" on CD for the first time, together with "Life Ia A Many Splendored Gig." It's available on Amazon at:


But the order of the charts on Many Splendored Gig is different than on the previous Fresh Sound CD issue. Can anyone with the original Roulette LP straighten this out?



My Roulette "Twofer (LP 1 = Pomeroy / LP 2 = M. Ferguson) shows for the Pomery band the following order of tracks:
Side A:
Blue Grass /Wolafunts lament/Jack Spratt/Aluminium baby/Its sand, man/Our delight
Side B:
Theme for Terry/No one will room with me/Feather Merchant/Big man/Less talk


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  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of 55 More Songs," "Anatomy of a Song," "Rock Concert: An Oral History" and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax has won three Jazz Journalists Association awards.
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