Herbie Mann

Turtle Bay

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Herbie Mann goes back to the well of soul on this LP and comes up with another tastefully funky selection of rock/R&B hits mixed with a few originals of his own. Judging by the date of the album, he decided to let some of the early '70s hits simmer for a couple of years before deciding to lay them down. Side One (or, as credited on the label, the Up Side) finds him interacting gracefully with a sextet of New York session men, including the soulful guitarist David Spinozza and Latin percussionist Ralph MacDonald; the sound is a bit slicker than the grooves he got in Memphis yet it percolates nicely. On Side Two (or the Down Side), a delicately applied string quartet adds a moody texture; though Mann's old cohort Bill Fischer is not the arranger (William Eaton, Pat Rebillot, and Mann do the honors), his influence seems clear. Herbie's own flute work is often low-key, maybe even a bit lazy, but he is audibly sympathetic with the material, unlike others who dutifully tried to swim with the pop currents in those days.

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