Herbie Mann, flute; Cyro Baptista, Sergio Brandao, Cafe, Milton Cardona, Olatunji, Ray Mantilla, percussion; Ron Carter, Eddie Gomez, Larry Granadier, Nilson Matta, acoustic bass; Adam Cruz, Duduka da Fonseca, Ricky Sebastian, drums; Bruce Dunlap, Romero Lubambo, guitar; Edward Simon, Mark Soskin, piano; Paul Socolow, bass; Terrell Stafford, trumpet; Jim Pugh, trombone. Guests: Randy Brecker, Paquito D'Rivera, Claudio Roditi, Billy Taylor, Bobby Watson
Things start out sort of clattery on the opener, which is where everyone gets settled into an ordered groove. Mann very wisely slots in "Summertime" for track 2. The Latin is retained, but tamed, until D'Rivera solos, that is, with Cardona and Mantilla liberally dosing the concoction with their irresistible rhythm. You could go overboard for Edward Simon's controlled, tightly purposeful piano playing (sort of very early Bill Evans). We investigated and found no recording under his own name - but he sure has played with everyone else. The Latin is dropped on the Evans number "Peri's Scope" and it belongs to Dunlap and Gomez, who shows why the author was so happy to play with him. Mann plays an almost ascetically straight solo, which echoes Simon's piano playing. Mann lets his hair down on "Ovo" (track 5) and it's not surprising because he follows a sensational guitar solo from Romero Lubambo, all done to a no-let-up rhythm from the percussion and drums. Billy Taylor take the piano stool and weaves an intriguing intro to "All Blues", then offering an interlude of massive chords to introduce Mann. It is again Lubambo who gets distinctly rowdy on the closing, and title, track - and very exciting he is. Mind you, Brecker and Roditi also light some fires. Herbie Mann and a bunch of superstars. A pretty terrific record. Everyone should have it, it's a gas.
by Lawrence Brazier
Editor: This CD is available in Jazz Now Direct mail order catalog.
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