Herbie Mann, Dave Valentine, flute; Cyro Baptista, Cafe, Milton Cardona, Ray Mantilla, percussion; Sergeo Brandao, Frank Gravis, bass; Ron Carter, Eddie Gomez, Larry Granadier, Nilson Matta, acoustic bass; Adam Cruz, Duduka da Fonseca, Winard Harper, Victor Lewis, Ricky Sebastian, Buddy Williams, drums; Bruce Dunlap, Romero Lubambo, Lou Volpe, guitar; Edward Simon, Mark Soskin, David Leonhardt, piano; Randy Brecker, Terrell Stafford, Claudio Roditi, trumpet; Jim Pugh, trombone; Paquito D'Rivera, Bobby Watson, David Newman, alto sax; Tito Puente, timbales
Herbie Mann live at the Blue Note to celebrate his 65th birthday and it must have been a great week. Who gets to have a birthday party lasting a whole week? Well, Herbie Mann has certainly done service enough over a great many years to warrant such an event. Much of the music is of the Latin persuasion, and with such a bunch of pros from the south of the border it is no wonder. We couldn't wait to hear Charlie Parker's "Au Privave", with Bobby Watson filling the chair. Simon takes the next solo at an explorative rumble and is ably assisted on bass by Gomez, who booms magnificently throughout. The solos take their course and wind up with "Happy Birthday". But the birthday boy does not hog the mic, giving everyone concerned plenty of space. "Jeep's Blues" from Ellington and Hodges has a fine laid-back stomp to it. With Ron Carter giving Mann a fine backdrop, the flautist prods and punches through his solo, which opens the way for Leonhardt on piano. Jazz in the old style, and still some of the best around. "Memphis Underground" is as close as these guys are ever going to get to a rock beat, and none the worse for it. They close with "Dippermouth" - one of the three Mann originals on this CD - with Herbie leading the solos, followed by Roditi, Brecker, Jim Pugh and most of the Latin guys. The entire show is a musical rave with a whole lot of talent on one stage. It could hardly go wrong. Treat yourself to his birthday present.
by Lawrence Brazier
Editor: This CD is available in Jazz Now Direct mail order catalog.
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