Recorded live at the 1979 Monterey Jazz Festival, Herman and his Young Thundering Herd welcomed trumpeters Woody Shaw and Dizzy Gillespie and trombonist Slide Hampton to the bandstand for "Woody'n You" and "Manteca," and featured guest Stan Getz on a typically beautiful rendition of "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?" The other side of the original LP finds the Herd sounding in spirited form on four standards with baritonist Gary Smulyan and tenor saxophonist Frank Tiberi (who doubles on bassoon during "Caravan") taking solo honors.(Scott Yanow - AllMusic Guide)
Herman's final recording, made just weeks before his health began to seriously fail, is actually quite good. With future leader Frank Tiberi contributing some strong tenor solos, John Fedchock writing some colorful arrangements for a varied program (ranging from "Rose Room" and "'Round Midnight" to Chick Corea's "Samba Song"), and three guest percussionists on some of the pieces, this is an enjoyable release. Herman takes short solos on three of the pieces, recorded approximately 50 years after he formed his first successful big band. This serves as a fine closer to a significant career.(Scott Yanow - All Music Guide)
The third and final LP volume in the Woody Herman Presents series finds him leading an all-star band, playing clarinet and taking rare late-period vocals on "I've Got the World on a String" and "Caldonia." Actually, there are almost too many talents to hear from during this set, including tenor saxophonist Scott Hamilton, trombonist George Masso, trumpeter/vocalist Jack Sheldon (who does a funny bit on "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat"), Japanese clarinetist Eiji Kitamura, and even whistler Ron McCroby. It all works somehow on this upbeat set of swinging music.(Scott Yanow - AllMusic Guide)
After a number of years paying her dues as a backup singer and recording for a number of indie labels with mixed success, Marilyn Scott finally brings her crisp, romantic vocal stylings to Warner Bros. on Take Me With You, a stylish potpourri of pop, soul, jazz and Brazilian influences tailor made to fit the definition of the finest in Adult Contemporary music. While Scott's powerful yet subtle and smoky voice ties all the loose threads together, the collection's strengths lie in its frolicsome diversity. Scott changes moods depending on the producer du jour. George Duke elicits cool, straightforward pop, while longtime cohorts Russell Ferrante and Jimmy Haslip forge her range from standard to hip-hop influenced jazz. Ironically, the most exciting track, a percolating Brazilian treatment of Stevie Wonder's "Bird of Beauty," is also the least commercial from a corporate marketing standpoint. Without the radio typical sheen, producer Dori Caymmi allows Scott to romp through a loping playground where even elegant Kevyn Lettau-like Portuguese is within the realm. Perhaps the reason it's taken Scott so long to break through on a higher level is the type of stunning diversity typified here. It's been worth the wait.
A top-notch adult contemporary vocalist still awaiting a well-deserved crossover commercial breakthrough, Marilyn Scott adds powerful fuel to her cause on Avenues of Love by helping herself with a well-balanced array of production and songwriting talent. George Duke surrounds her with party voices and a kneejerking Latin groove on a playful list of dance steps on "I Like to Dance," then surrounds her clear, sensuous voice with airy, billowing synth cushioning on the Bacharach-David classic "The Look of Love." Scott and bassist Jimmy Haslip reroute to Memphis on Michael Ruff's Wilson Pickett-like pick me up, "Love Is a Powerful Thing," engaging a two-piece horn section that sounds even larger. The Yellowjacket touch is in full effect on the picturesque "Avenida del Sol," which approximates an update of the gentle Astrud Gilberto sound; the tune was written by Scott and Bob Mintzer, and produced by Scott, Haslip, and Russell Ferrante. Scott's greatest gift here is her sense of modulation; she belts like crazy on the funk pieces, but recognizes the emotional power of restraint on the ballads.