Four Brothers (jazz standard)

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Jimmy Giuffre wrote this song and arranged it based on the chord changes of 'Jeepers Creepers'.

Woody Herman recorded it with his second Herd on December 27, 1947 for Columbia records. It features the reed section : three tenors and one baritone saxophone. The order of solos is Zoot Sims, Serge Chaloff, Herbie Steward, and Stan Getz. All four played in the light vibrato style of their idol, Lester Young.

The song so typifies the sound of Woody Herman's second Herd that the band is also known as the Four Brothers Band. Herman organized this incarnation of the Herd earlier in the year. Notably in the band were also Al Cohn, Gene Ammons, Lou Levy, Oscar Pettiford, Terry Gibbs, and Shelly Manne.

Giuffre recorded it in 1955 when it was released on his debut album by Capitol. He again recorded it in 1958, an album released by Atlantic entitled The Four Brothers Sound.

An a cappella rendition complete with lyrics was recorded by Realtime as the title track of their 2004 cd. A vocal version was also released by The Manhattan Transfer on their 1978 album Pastiche. This version was based on the arrangement that Lambert, Hendricks and Ross used in the 1950s. Marian McPartland also recorded a live version on piano in 1959.

Anita O'Day recorded scat versions of the tune in the 1950s and 1960s, in which she took the place of one of the four saxophone players and scatted with the other three. The King Sisters, also in the 1950s and 1960s, had a version of it.

A Hungarian version of the song ('Four Gangsters') was featured in the 1984 animation movie 'Macskafogó' (Cat City).


  1. ^ Wynn, Ron (1994), Ron Wynn (ed.), All Music Guide to Jazz, M. Erlewine, V. Bogdanov, San Francisco: Miller Freeman, ISBN 0-87930-308-5
  2. ^ Tanner, Paul O. W.; Maurice Gerow; David W. Megill (1988) [1964]. "Cool (1949-1955)". Jazz (6th ed.). Dubuque, IA: William C. Brown, College Division. pp. 103–111. ISBN 0-697-03663-4.

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