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.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Richard S. Ginell