Herbie Mann

Big Band Mann

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Some but not all of the performances on this out-of-print sampler LP from the early '70s has been reissued on CD. The great flutist Herbie Mann is heard playing nine songs associated with the swing era. The music is drawn from five unrelated sessions from the late '50s including an extended version of "Satin Doll" that is taken from an album by clarinetist Buddy DeFranco that features Mann, a quartet date with pianist Jimmy Rowles, three songs with a string section, a couple of collaborations with Brazilian guitarist Laurindo Almeida and a song ("Caravan") performed by Mann's regular Afro-Cuban group of 1959. It is quite unusual to hear Herbie Mann playing such songs as "Moonlight Serenade," "Let's Dance," "Stardust" and "Contrasts" but the inventive arrangements and constantly changing personnel result in a great deal of variety and some surprises.