Friday, March 25, 2005

Herbie Mann: Play Your Flute

Im in super lazy mode today so imma just jack's bio on Herbie. He was a great jazz flutist and was sampled by many hip hop groups. Pharcyde used his works on a few tracks along with Sublime, 3rd Bass, Digable Planets and more. If you see any of his albums or him on any liner notes, pick it up. You will not be disappointed.

Herbie Mann played a wide variety of music throughout his career. He became quite popular in the 1960s but in the '70s became so immersed in pop and various types of world music that he seemed lost to jazz. However, Mann never lost his ability to improvise creatively as his later recordings attest.

Herbie Mann began on clarinet when he was nine but was soon also playing flute and tenor. After serving in the Army, he was with Mat Mathews's Quintet (1953-54) and then started working and recording as a leader. During 1954-58 Mann stuck mostly to playing bop, sometimes collaborating with such players as Phil Woods, Buddy Collette, Sam Most, Bobby Jaspar and Charlie Rouse. He doubled on cool-toned tenor and was one of the few jazz musicians in the 1950s who recorded on bass clarinet; he also recorded in 1957 a full album (for Savoy) of unaccompanied flute.

After spending time playing and writing music for television, in 1959 Mann formed his Afro-Jazz Sextet, a group using several percussionists, vibes (either Johnny Rae, Hagood Hardy or Dave Pike) and the leader's flute. He toured Africa (1960) and Brazil (1961), had a hit with "Comin' Home Baby" and recorded with Bill Evans. The most popular jazz flutist during the era, Mann explored bossa nova (even recording in Brazil in 1962), incorporated music from many cultures (plus current pop tunes) into his repertoire and had among his sidemen such top young musicians as Willie Bobo, Chick Corea (1965), Attila Zoller and Roy Ayers; at the 1972 Newport Festival his sextet included David Newman and Sonny Sharrock. By then Mann had been a producer at Embroyo (a subsidiary of Atlantic) for three years and was frequently stretching his music outside of jazz. As the 1970s advanced, Mann became much more involved in rock, pop, reggae and even disco. After leaving Atlantic at the end of the 1970s, Mann had his own label for awhile and gradually came back to jazz. He recorded for Chesky, made a record with Dave Valentin and in the 1990s founded the Kokopelli label on which before breaking away in 1996 he was free to pursue his wide range of musical interests. Through the years, he recorded as a leader for Bethlehem, Prestige, Epic, Riverside, Savoy, Mode, New Jazz, Chesky, Kokopelli and most significantly Atlantic. He passed away on July 1, 2003, following an extended battle with prostate cancer. His last record was 2004's posthumusly released Beyond Brooklyn for Telarc.

Aight, now my turn. The songs that I have featured for you today are off:Memphis Underground (which has an allstar line up with the likes of Roy Ayers and engineered and produced by legendary Tom Dowd, which if u haven't seen the dvd on him you are missing out like a muthafucka.) Its a pretty dope album with some funky bluesy cuts), Waterbed (made in 1975, and features the classic that i posted, Comin' Home Baby), and Turtle Bay ( another excellent album with some midtempo to more funky jazzy cuts. Alot of slow songs also where herb wilds out on the flute)

Comin' Home Baby
Never Ending Song Of Love
Chain Of Fools