Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Sabre Dance” by Woody Herman & His Second Herd

Everyone knows this catchy tune composed in 1942 by Aram Khachaturian for his ballet “Gayane.” Although, you’ve probably never heard this song within the context of the ballet, but, more appropriately, as background music to some zany competition on a 1960s game show. This recording is from 1948 performed by big band leader, clarinetist, saxophonist and vocalist, Woody Herman and His Second Herd. The Second Herd was also known as “The Four Brothers” band featuring four sax players including Zoot Simms, Serge Chaloff, Herbie Steward and Stan Getz who’s standout recording was the Jimmy Giuffre song “Four Brothers.” Other members of this band included Shelley Manne, Gene Ammons and Al Cohn. Herman got his start in the mid-1930s in the orchestra of sweet bandsman, Isham Jones who composed the song “It Had To Be You.” He struck out on his own in the late 1930s with his theme song “The Woodchopper’s Ball” and continued to record and perform live right up until his death in 1987.