During the 1960s and '70s, Herbie Mann continually searched for new playing contexts in which to place his flute. In December 1973, he traveled to London for five days of recording with a group of British rock musicians. The result was London Underground, an album tilted much more in a rock direction than the soul and R&B-drenched recordings he had been making for the previous five years. Highlights on this album include the Rolling Stones' "Bitch" (then-Stone Mick Taylor played guitar on this album), Thunderclap Newman's "Something in the Air," and "Paper Sun," from the Traffic canon. The real highlight, however, came about with the addition of Stephane Grappelli on the Donovan pop hit "Mellow Yellow." With guitarist Albert Lee adopting a Django Reinhardt stance, the cut is reminiscent of the old Hot Club of France recordings in the '30s. There are a couple of clunkers here ("Layla" doesn't work), but for fans of late-'60s/early-'70s rock, not a bad ride.
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AllMusic Review by Jim Newsom