"Woody Herman: Chronicles of the Herds," by William D. Clancy with Audree Coke Kenton. New York: Schirmer Books. 396 pages. $27.50 This highly entertaining work, not so much written as assembled, consists mainly of interviews with former sidemen, friends and associates and the maestro himself. Although short on analysis of what made Woody run in his nearly 60 years in show business as a teen-age vaudevillian, big band sideman and legendary leader, the anecdotal-snippet approach makes this book a very jazzlike and big band-like work.
Although marred in spots by redundancies, outright contradictions, and chronologal quirks, the book is a veritable candy store for Herman aficionados. And its shortcomings, aptly, mirror the man.