The band had to wait until 3:30 a.m. to go on stage, but when they did, they lived up to their name of the Thundering Herd. The Vinyl Vault feature will be a 1974 album by Woody Herman entitled “Herd at Montreux,” a release on the Fantasy label.

The schedule slipped, sets ran long, Sonny Rollins finished a bit after 3 a.m., and the band started playing at 3:30 in the morning. And the crowd stayed. The Montreux Jazz Festival crowd proved to be enthusiastic all the way until 5 a.m. when the band finally wrapped it up. (But it wasn’t over for the band, they had to high tail it back to the hotel, pack up and get on the bus to the airport at 6 am for a flight to their next gig in Ankara, Turkey that evening.)

But the band put on a show in those wee hours in Switzerland. The program featured a combination of standards, covers and band-penned originals. Some of those covers included Copeland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man” (funk version) and Billy Cobham’s “Crosswinds” (also a funk version (of course!)).

Herman was on soprano sax throughout the set and he left room for several other top shelf soloists such as Greg Herbert on tenor and Dave Stahl on trumpet.

Join Geoff Anderson on Tuesday, September 5 at 8:30 p.m. for another performance from the Montreux Jazz Festival on the next Vinyl Vault on KUVO JAZZ.

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