During the three years that he recorded for Verve, flutist Herbie Mann's playing changed from straight bop to incorporating elements of Latin, African and South American music. This CD reissues all of the music from one former LP (Flautista) and several of the selections from two others (The Magic Flute of Herbie Mann and Herbie Mann's Cuban Band). Whether it be with a standard quartet, backed by a string section, jamming with a sextet that includes two percussionists or interacting with a brass section, the flutist is heard in explorative form, satisfying his fertile musical curiosity; he even plays bass clarinet and piccolo on one song apiece. Highlights of this excellent overview of Mann's Verve period include "Baia," "Oodles of Noodles" (Jimmy Dorsey's theme song "Contrasts"), "The Peanut Vendor," "Cuban Patato Chip" and "Caravan."
For five of the eight cuts here, Mann has a sextet that sports an intriguing sonority – his flute stands alongside such underappreciated masters as the baritone saxophonist/bass clarinetist Jack Nimitz, trombonist Urbie Green and guitarist Joe Puma. No less a great bassist than Oscar Pettiford lays down the low-end law, while drummer Charlie Smith proves an expert with brushes on drums and cymbals. There are also three quartet dates sans Green and Nimitz.
In 2001, Collectables released Live at the Whisky A Go Go/Mississippi Gambler, which combined a pair of original Atlantic LPs – Live at the Whisky A Go Go (1968) and Mississippi Gambler (1972) – by Herbie Mann on one compact disc.
A seminal figure in the New York jazz scene of the '50s & '60s, Herbie Mann's quest for authenticity led him to many corners of the musical world, from Cuba to Brazil to the Middle East and Africa. His adventures in soul and R&B throughout the '60s and '70s also resulted in remarkable recordings, from his hit single 'Comin' Home Baby', to the albums Memphis Underground and Muscle Shoals Nitty Gritty. Music.
At the time of this Prestige set (reissued on CD), Herbie Mann was a flutist who occasionally played tenor and Bobby Jaspar a tenor-saxophonist who doubled on flute. Two of the four songs find them switching back and forth while the other two are strictly flute features. With pianist Tommy Flanagan, guitarist Joe Puma, bassist Wendell Marshall and drummer Bobby Donaldson contributing quiet support, the two lead voices constantly interact and trade off during this enjoyable performance. Highpoints are the haunting "Tel Aviv" and a delightful version of "Chasing the Bird."
This two-fer from Collectables features a pair of out of print Herbie Mann LPs: Brazil: Once Again and Sunbelt. Originally issued in 1978 and 1979, respectively, these 12 smooth jazz/pop tracks include "Watermelon Man," "The Closer I Get to You," and "Let's Stay Together." Most listeners would be better served with one of Mann's compilations on Rhino/Atlantic.
During the 1960s and '70s, Herbie Mann continually searched for new playing contexts in which to place his flute. In December 1973, he traveled to London for five days of recording with a group of British rock musicians. The result was London Underground, an album tilted much more in a rock direction than the soul and R&B-drenched recordings he had been making for the previous five years. Highlights on this album include the Rolling Stones' "Bitch" (then-Stone Mick Taylor played guitar on this album), Thunderclap Newman's "Something in the Air," and "Paper Sun," from the Traffic canon. The real highlight, however, came about with the addition of Stephane Grappelli on the Donovan pop hit "Mellow Yellow."
Nice, more light than emphatic Afro-Latin and jazz mixture by flutist Herbie Mann and composer/vocalist Joao Gilberto from 1965. The two make an effective team, with Gilberto's sometimes sentimental, sometimes impressionistic works effectively supported by Mann's lithe flute solos.