Herbie Mann and Tamiko Jones
“Listen – Herbie Mann & Tamiko Jones – The Sidewinder – MP3″
Here we are again, teetering on the fulcrum that divides the week into two, unevenly distributed halves (in which case they’re probably not technically “halves”, but whatever..)
Anyway, in furtherance of the idea that we need to keep things moving forward in a way that is both easy and breezy but never cheesy, I bring you something a little light, and very groovy.
Surely any crate digger worth his (or her, natch) salt is well acquainted by the long and hirsute discography of the flute-meister general, Mr. Herbie Mann.
Starting in the 50s, when he was working in a Latin bag, Herbie Mann was the most prominent representative of the flute and flute-related arts, at least on the jazz side of things. He recorded a grip of excellent albums for Atlantic in the 60s.
Of course, like any other jazz musician with even a passing interest in popular acceptance (i.e. “money”) which would be just about every recording jazz musician not deeply involved in the free or outside movement, Mann recorded a lot of pop-oriented material.
What he also did – and he rarely gets the credit he deserves in this respect – was record in a wide variety of very interesting, sometimes experimental settings. He may have made some poppy recordings, but he also recorded with jazz bagpipe wiz Rufus Harley, as well as making some excellent Brazilian and Middle Eastern sounding records.
As far as I can tell, in all of the dozens of records he recorded between 1954 and his death in 2003, Mann teamed up with a vocalist exactly once. That record, with the self-explanatory title of ‘Herbie Mann and Tamiko Jones: A Mann and a Woman’ was released on Atlantic in 1966.
Jones, originally from West Virginia recorded for a variety of labels (in a variety of styles, though mostly jazzy) through the 60s and 70s, including Checker, Golden World, A&M, 20th Century, Metromedia and Arista.
‘A Mann and a Woman’ is a swinging set, with Mann and Jones grooving on jazz, pop and standards. The highlight of the album (aside from a great version of ‘Day Tripper’ which I’m saving for an upcoming mix) is their vocalization of Lee Morgan’s hard bop classic ‘The Sidewinder’. The tune features a breezy vocal by Jones (sounding a lot like Brasil ‘66’s Lani Hall) and some very solid flute work by Herbie. I don’t know for sure, but I would guess that this is the kind of thing that’d be a big hit on UK dancefloors. If the piano on the track catches your ear, it might be because it’s none other than Joe Zawinul.
I hope you dig the track and I’ll be back on Friday with some more Hammond.