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Herbie Mann

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What are the thoughts on this guy?  He was never more than a name to me.  I know he was popular in the 60s (long before I became a jazz fan) when he incorporated major rock and pop elements.  Before that, he was involved in Afro-Cuban and Brazilian.  Before that, bop and cool jazz.

I really don't know Mann's stuff.  I do have his last record, which was co-led with Phil Woods.  And I just acquired Flautista, which works the Afro-Cuban stuff rather well.  One record, Great ideas of Western Mann, features him exclusively on bass clarinet (not even Dolphy did that). 

He seems to be a worthwhile figure, albeit one somewhat forgotten.    

  

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Great bandleader, for sure.

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All over the map.  Loved some of the stuff he did in the 60's with Ayers/Sharrock, etc.

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Just Wailin' on New Jazz is awesome, albeit more of a Waldron-style blowing session.

The Village Gate records on Atlantic are excellent, as is the later stuff felser mentions w/ Ayers + Sharrock (Memphis Underground in particular). 

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I have 7 of his leader dates spanning 1959-1973. I like the more overtly Latin stuff the best, especially the early stuff. For me it pays to think of him as being his own weird thing rather than someone that was in competition with the jazz Blue Note/Prestige/etc scene of the 50s and 60s. It's hard to define what makes a Mann album i like versus one that i don't. Some albums have more corny tracks than others. Definitely a 'like him for what he is rather than dislike him for what he isn't' situation for me. I think First Light is a gem from the 70s, especially if you are down for some Sesame Street funk in places.

FWIW, Memphis Underground was Hunter S Thompson's number 1 album of the sixties ("... may be the best album ever cut by anybody")http://www.openculture.com/2017/05/hear-the-10-best-albums-of-the-1960s-as-selected-by-hunter-s-thompson.html

Edited by xybert

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Yeah, Memphis Underground. :tup I have fond memories of being on a road trip with my father in a 1974 Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV 2000 and Memphis Underground was one of three 8-Track tapes in rotation.

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I've been listening to some Herbie Mann lately, since picking up really cheaply some of those Collectables twofers.  Style-wise, they are all over the place, in a refreshing way.  I liked xybert's formulation: "it pays to think of him as being his own weird thing rather than someone that was in competition with the jazz Blue Note/Prestige/etc scene of the 50s and 60s."  It's also interesting listening to these twofers, since they're paired roughly chronologically by release date, so listening to two of these back to back and hearing such stylistic differences within the same year it's like WTF?!?  Yesterday I listened to Our Mann Flute (cheery, poppy tunes backed by a large band, tracks recorded between 1960 and 1966, with material like "Good Lovin'," "Frere Jacques," "Down By The Riverside," "Monday Monday" and "Skip To My Lou"...seriously, a jazz version of "Skip To My Lou"???), paired with the album "Impressions Of The Middle East" (which contains, among other things, a Middle East-inflected version of "Do Wah Diddy Diddy"!).  These are fun to listen to.  Another twofer I've listened to pairs "Today!" and "Plays The Roar of the Greasepaint - The Smell of the Crowd."  I have another one still to get to: "The Family of Mann"/"The Wailing Dervishes."  

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Of the earlier ones, these two are well worth a listen

R-3675099-1339881223-1063.jpeg.jpgR-3807206-1422729581-3023.jpeg.jpg

 

later on, I'm a fan of Stone Flute and Gagaku & Beyond and have a soft spot for the orchestral Concerto Grosso in D Blues. All of which speak both to his eclecticism but also strong individual voice. Herbie's alright by me

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Two words - Bruno Carr!!!!

Something like this...I have queasiness about the arrangement, but then you get a really nice early Chick Corea solo...and check out his comp behind Dave Pike's solo. I've kept this record just for this cut.

Never mind him as a player, you can pretty much take that wherever you want (either way), but let's look at him not jsut as bandleader, but also as businessman - three labels that I can think of right away - Vertigo, Embryo, and Kokopelli, all of which had notable releases, many of which had nothing to do with the Herbie Mann "styles", but everything to do with the Herbie Mann orb. I you were in with Mann, you got opportunities to speak your own thing. Not all bandleaders are that generous. Maybe they were or weren't tax-shelters, I have no idea, but point just being, I'm sure he got rich, but it sure looked like he shared the wealth. Not all do!

Also consider that when guys like Cannonball, Mann, Les McCann, etc. were catching hell for being "commerical" (and sometimes rightly so, I mean the HErbie Mann Disoc period is, uh...dire), still, their presentation was just that - a presentation, something to present to people who came to hear them. The size of the audience that overlapped their thing and less market driven jazz might have been comparatively small, but there was a continuum of availability. If you dug Herbie Mann, you could go deeper into the music, or you could not, depending on what you wanted. It wasn't this hard, maybe even impossible, break between Kenny G and Ornette like it is now, you could just be there and get whomped upside the head by Sonny Sharrock or some shit. Or be in the underground, come to check out Sonny Sharrock, and then, oh, Fathead!

I only buy Herbie Mann records for the band, but again, he had some damn good bands.

WHOMP!

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I met him a few times when he was living here in Santa Fe at the end of his life. Nice guy. I enjoy a lot of his work.

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listened to Memphis Underground for the first time.  Not sure if it’s a guilty pleasure or just regular enjoyment but Sonny Sharrock, hot damn

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1 hour ago, Guy Berger said:

listened to Memphis Underground for the first time.  Not sure if it’s a guilty pleasure or just regular enjoyment but Sonny Sharrock, hot damn

This album is waiting for you, when you're ready to get to it:

Get the Quad mix if you can make it work for you.

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One of THEE GREATEST albums ever made is Impressions of the Middle East, with arrangements by Arif Mardin.

 

 

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10 hours ago, Teasing the Korean said:

One of THEE GREATEST albums ever made is Impressions of the Middle East, with arrangements by Arif Mardin.

This one is also quite good

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I just ordered this for under $13 shipped on ebay.  Most efficient way to get the "Hold On" album (which I've never heard).  Also haven't really heard the Muscle Shoals album.

  Image result for original album series herbie mann

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7 minutes ago, felser said:

I just ordered this for under $13 shipped on ebay.  Most efficient way to get the "Hold On" album (which I've never heard).  Also haven't really heard the Muscle Shoals album.

  Image result for original album series herbie mann

This set is what got me interested in procuring more Herbie. The Collectable twofers are a great deal too.

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1 hour ago, felser said:

I just ordered this for under $13 shipped on ebay.  Most efficient way to get the "Hold On" album (which I've never heard).  Also haven't really heard the Muscle Shoals album.

  Image result for original album series herbie mann

Thanks for the tip!  I got one too.

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I thought the album with Bill Evans wad quite boring

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One more for the Mann-Curious:

31ZBECS9EHL.jpg

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Glad you mentioned 'Stone Flute' (1970), which has to be inspired by Miles' 'In A Silent Way'.  'SF' s overall sound is unhurried and very inside.  With the help of Roy Ayers, Ron Carter, Sonny Sharrock, and Miroslav Vitous, it's completely atypical of anything else Mann has done.  The string arranging by William Fischer and Selwart Clarke take the music out even further.  Atlantic entrusted Mann with his own label, Embryo, and gave him full creative control on this. 

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He had a huge painting of a dollar bill on his living room wall, it is said...

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29 minutes ago, Bill Nelson said:

Glad you mentioned 'Stone Flute' (1970), which has to be inspired by Miles' 'In A Silent Way'.  'SF' s overall sound is unhurried and very inside.  With the help of Roy Ayers, Ron Carter, Sonny Sharrock, and Miroslav Vitous, it's completely atypical of anything else Mann has done.  The string arranging by William Fischer and Selwart Clarke take the music out even further.  Atlantic entrusted Mann with his own label, Embryo, and gave him full creative control on this. 

There's uncredited organ on there as well, sounds to me like it's Herbie.

...and I would say that it sounds like a reaaaalllllyyyyy stoned CTI album, but that comparison is dulled just a little by the fact that Mann's own/one CTI album sounds nothing like this. One of Nat Adderley's maybe comes a little close...and here/now we're talking about William S. Fischer, and that's somebody who doesn't get talked about very much. But there's definitely a conversation to be had, should the desire arise.

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There was a Herbie Mann CTI?

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Since Herbie Mann gave William Fischer a shot with his own LP for Embryo in 1970, check this out:

specifically, 'Green Forever' running up to 4:35 (shades of Tony Williams' Lifetime w/McLaughlin) 

 

Guitar and drums courtesy of Hugh McCracken and Billy Cobham.  Electronic noodling after 4:36 by Fischer.

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