In the late '30s, Herman never rivaled band-leading clarinetists Benny Goodman andArtie Shaw. But then came that late blooming. In 1944, not long before the swing era collapsed, Herman put together a stupendous band known as his First Herd. It was popping with talent, starting with hotdog bassist Chubby Jackson, whose added fifth string made him sound sped-up. The brass included young trumpeter Sonny Berman with his antic bebop solos, as well as the lyrical but shouting trombonist Bill Harris.Igor Stravinsky wrote his "Ebony Concerto" for them. Herman famously said later, "We had no more right to play it than the man in the moon had."