Album Review: Herbie Mann

Herbie Mann, born Herbert Jay Solomon is a world renowned flutist actively participating in the music scene for close to 60 years, accomplishing over 30 albums. The Best of Herbie Mann released October 25, 1990 through Rhino, ironically contains six of his best tracks including a breath taking live version of “Comin’ Home Baby.” Herbie got his start playing flute in the Brooklyn, New York jazz scene, quickly switching over to a more world approach taking in elements from the Bossa Nova, African Music, and dabbling a little in Disco.

The first track on this album is a studio version of “Comin’ Home Baby” which starts off pretty mellow with a smooth Baseline and Drums to compliment. Herbie eases his way in taking the stand right away, but without making it completely known he’s entered the track. The song keeps up a pretty nice “groove” for about three or so minutes until the Vibraphone comes in, not necessarily taking the floor but letting Herbie know it’s time to take a break. According to Wikipeidia, Herbie describes the “groove” as,” finding the waves that are comfortable to float on top of.”

Followed by “Memphis Underground” the music takes a turn towards Jazz Fusion, allowing instruments like the Electric Guitar, and again the Vibraphone take solos. By doing so Herbie says these instruments are “gracefully adding to the groove.” Herbie mentions this Album [Memphis Underground] being the height of his groove. (Wiki) The album picks up and doesn’t let you down until the last note is played. This album has personally inspired me to collect more of Herbie Mann’s music, and hopefully it will encourage you too.

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~ by Joseph Stelmaszek on June 20, 2008.

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