Magazine article IAJRC Journal

Live at the Stable, Boston 1955

Magazine article IAJRC Journal

Live at the Stable, Boston 1955

Article excerpt

Herb Pomeroy and his Stablemates

Live at the Stable, Boston 1955

Fresh Sound FSR-CD 530

Herb Pomeroy (tp) Varty Haroutunian (ts) Ray Santisi (p) John Neves (b) Jimmy Zitano (d) The Stable, Boston MA, March 13 1955

It Might as Well Be Spring / Honey Bunny / Motten Swing (sic) / Porta Desks and Tuxedos / One Bass Hit / Off Minor / Sweet and Lovely / Ray's Idea / Dear Old Stockholm / Tiny's Blues TT: 63:03

Herb Pomeroy (1930-2007) was a very important part of the Boston jazz scene from the fifties until his death in 2007. A capable trumpet player, Pomeroy was associated early in his career with such fellow Bostonians as Charlie Mariano, Jaki Byard and Serge Chaloff and was Charlie Parker's frontline partner of choice on those occasions when Bird appeared in Boston. After short periods with Lionel Hampton and Stan Kenton, Pomeroy returned to Boston where he led a small group which performed regularly at a local venue, The Stable.

Members of this group formed the nucleus of the big band organized by Pomeroy in the mid fifties. Most likely organized as a rehearsal or "kicks" band, the group became a working band when it secured a regular two-nights-a-week booking at the Stable. In May of 1957, the band had a two week engagement at Birdland, inspiring favorable reviews from the jazz press and, almost immediately thereafter, cut its first LP. That recording, Life Is a Many Splendored Gig (Roulette R-52001) was critically acclaimed and received a five star rating from Down Beat.

The following year, after an apperance at Newport which garnered the band even more attention, a second LP was recorded,, Band In Boston, this time for United Artists. Still another LP was cut for United Artists backing singer Irene Kral. In the 1958 Down Beat Reader's Poll, the band placed fifth in the Big Band category, topped only by Basie, Ellington, Kenton and Maynard Ferguson.

Personnel of the band consisted chiefly of Boston locals who remained in Boston although several - Bill Berry, Joe Gordon, Jaki Byard, Charlie Mariano and Boots Mussulli - were also widely known for their work on a more global stage. As one of the band members commented, the bands style was that it had no style. It might be considered something of a workshop group - the book consisted entirely of arrangements unique to the band, some by band members, some by students from Berklee, some by others but all giving the arranger unlimited freedom to write as he wished. …

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