Numbered, Limited Edition 180g+ Virgin Audiophile Vinyl!
Featured in Michael Fremer's Heavy Rotation in the November 2009 Issue of Stereophile!
Herbie Mann established himself as jazz's most popular flutist for over a
decade, and in so doing also solidified the flute's rightful place in jazz. In
1962, his live album 'Herbie Mann at the Village Gate' was his first major hit,
selling over half a million copies. The immense popularity of At the Village
Gate made Mann a true superstar.
This live disc was recorded before jazz clubs were like museums, before
musicians were like curators. People are sitting comfortably being all beatnik
and cool about everything. But when Herbie Mann walks in, sexy hairy sweaty
chest and all, they go ballistic! You hear people talking, responding, and
humming in the background - their presence pulls into the room. This "noise"
adds an extra dimension of realness, of being front-row in the swing, which is
jazz at its best.
The first track on the LP, "Comin' Home Baby", placed in the Top 30 on the pop
charts and became Mann's first big hit. Composer Ben Tucker plays second bass on
that cut, and Mann's other sidemen include vibraphonist Hagood Hardy, bassist
Ahmed Abdul-Malik, drummer Rudy Collins, and Chief Bey and Ray Mantilla on
percussion. From the smoke-filled room, a woman with a whisky voice testifies
from the audience: "Oh yeah, play it!"
Next are two great Gershwin songs. Mann's version of "Summertime" deserves a
place in any collection. The song's bittersweet essence is distilled and
transported to Rio. The drums and percussion come up a samba beat. Fingers snap
in time, and it's all Bossa Nova.
Last is the long "It Ain't Necessarily So", clocking in at almost 20 minutes.
Mann's smart solo on this track wails - the crowd goes wild as his flute rises
up from the rhythm section, settles back in, and rises up again, over and over.
Here it all is: a base of bebop with the Latin beat, but also Middle Eastern and
African influences. There's funk on this album, there's cool, and Bossa Nova,
and samba, and bebop. At this rare moment in Mann's career, it all held
together, and it just swings.
• Numbered, Limited Edition
• 180g Vinyl
• Mastered by Steve Hoffman
Herbie Mann, flute
Ben Tucker, 2nd bass (1)
Hagood Hardy, vibraphone
Ahmed Abdul-Malik, bass
Rudy Collins, drums
Chief Bey, percussion
Ray Mantilla, percussion
1. Comin' Home Baby
3. It Ain't Necessarily So