Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music


MANN, Herbie

(b Herbert Jay Solomon, 16 April 1930, Brooklyn, NY; d 1 July 2003) Flautist. Played with Mat Mathews Quintet '53-4 (accordionist Mathews b 18 June 1924, Rotterdam, Holland; d there 12 February 2009: to USA 1952-64; records on Brunswick and Dawn with Mann, Four French Horns '57 on Savoy with David Amram, etc). Mann recorded for Bethlehem '55-6, Prestige, Riverside, Epic, Verve, Savoy '56-8 (Savoy tracks with Phil Woods reissued as Be-Bop Synthesis, on CD as Yardbird Suite; Flute Soufflé later on Fantasy CD included Bobby Jaspar and Tommy Flanagan). He wrote TV music, toured Europe etc; formed AfroJazz sextet '59, toured Africa for State Dept '60; visited Brazil '61, toured the world for years.

He began recording for Atlantic '60, often using Latin sidemen such as Patato Valdes, Willie Bobo, Johnnie Pacheco etc and albums began to reach the pop chart with Live At The Village Gate '62, with bassists Ahmed Abdul-Malik (b 30 January 1927, Brooklyn; d 2 October 1993, Long Branch, New Jersey: of Sudanese descent, he also played the oud) and Ben Tucker (b 13 December 1930, Nashville TN; d 4 June 2013: Tucker also played with Marian McPartland, Billy Taylor and many others, was also a successful businessman), Hagood Hardy on vibes (b 26 February 1937, Angola IN; d 1 January 1997; later with Martin Denny, George Shearing), Rudy Collins on drums (b 24 July 1934, NYC; d 15 August 1988), Ray Mantilla and (James) Chief Bey (d 8 April 2003 aged 91, Brooklyn NY) on additional percussion, the set including an early piece of jazz-funk, Tucker's 'Comin' Home Baby': it was a top 30 pop album and Mann became the most popular jazzman ever to take up the flute.

Twenty-five LPs reached the top 200 pop albums '62-79 including a bossa nova album made in Rio '63, with Sergio Mendes, Antonio Carlos Jobim; two live sets from Newport '63-5; Memphis Underground '69, with Roy Ayers and Larry Coryell; Stone Flute, Memphis Two-Step and Push Push '70-71 (latter with guest guitars John Abercrombie and Duane Allman) were on Mann's Embryo label, distributed by Atlantic. From about '72 he often called his various groups Family of Mann, often featured ex-Ray Charles sideman David 'Fathead' Newman. London Underground '73 and Reggae '74 were back on Atlantic, made in London, former with Mick Taylor, Albert Lee, Stephane Grappelli, others; latter with Tommy McCook, leader of Jimmy Cliff's band. Discotheque '75 was top 30 LP including dance hit 'Hi-Jack'; Waterbed same year with Newman was no. 75, with a remake of 'Comin' Home Baby', covers of Ray Charles's 'I Got A Woman' and boogaloo hit 'Bang! Bang!', vocal by Cissy Houston on 'Violets Don't Be Blue'; Surprises '76 was a big-band set, also with Newman and Houston; Super Mann '79 again reached the top 100 albums.

Among many other albums: Nirvana '61-2 on Atlantic with Bill Evans Trio, Glory Of Love '67 on A&M, Concerto Grosso In D Blues '68 on Atlantic with orchestra, big-band Big Boss Mann '65 on Columbia (aka Latin Mann), Gagaku And Beyond '76 on Finnadar with Japanese musicians, tone poems All Blues/Rain Forest '80 on Herbie Mann Music, with flute, bass, tabla and percussion. Caminho De Casa was on Chesky with Pail Socolow, Mark Soskin, Ricky Sebastian, Romero Lobambo and others, Opalescence '88-9 on Kokopelli with much the same cast. Deep Pocket '92 had Ayers, Newman, Les McCann and others; Peace Pieces '95 was a tribute to Bill Evans, with bass, drums, guest Randy Brecker on some tracks and flutes overdubbed, both on Kokopelli. 65th Birthday Celebration on Lightyear included many guests; the Atlantic years were anthologized on two-CD The Evolution Of Mann.