Recorded July 1957, Hollywood, California.
In the 1950s, Herbie Mann frequently shared the spotlight on record dates with other flutists. This V.S.O.P. LP, a reissue of a set originally for Mode and also out for awhile on Premier, matches Mann (who here also plays piccolo, clarinet and tenor) with Buddy Collette (switching between flute, clarinet, tenor and alto) in a quintet with pianist Jimmy Rowles, bassist Buddy Clark and drummer Mel Lewis. The results are generally pleasing, if somewhat lightweight, with such obscure tunes as "Here's Buddy," Rowles' "Pop Melody," "Here's Pete" and Mann's "Theme from 'Theme From'" alternating with three standards and Chico Hamilton's "Morning After." The most interesting aspect to this lightly swinging music is the constant switching around of the lead voices on their various horns.
All Music Guide
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One of the happy by-products of the contemporary jazz scene has been the corporate union of identical instruments into small jazz groups. These ventures are the result of the musicians experimental nature, and they have had wide popular acceptance as well as giving the performers an opportunity to realize fully the possibilities of their instruments. Jazz fans of varying intensity are thoroughly intrigued by the combination of two or more established jazz stars collaborating within the same frame-work.
The number of these sessions which have taken place after working hours is incalculable. The origin of such unions might be difficult to trace, but the impact on musician and listener alike is invariably one of stimulation and excitement. This MODE LP, featuring flutists Herbie Mann and Buddy Collette, adds still another chapter to the colorful history of fraternal instrumentation.
These two young men rank with half-a-dozen talented reed players who have lifted the flute from the confines of the classical orchestra to a place in the jazz spectrum. Independently, each man has advanced the stature of the instrument to a point where they have done LPs for various labels with everything from a trio to a full string orchestra. Musically, their lives are dedicated to enlarging the scope of the flute family because they believe that its piercing tone and subtle blending are deserving of full membership in the society of jazz instruments.
Herbie Mann has had a variety of jobs in the music business, relying on his clarinet tenor talents in the reed sections of various dance bands to sustain him during his break-in period. Once his reputation as a jazz flutist began to take shape, he formed his own group and has worked most of the major jazz clubs in America. In the late summer of 1956 he journeyed to Europe as a single and was an immediate success on the jazz-starved continent. His talents, as this LP will show, also extend to writing and arranging.
Buddy Collette is one of the most thoroughly schooled musicians to step into the jazz picture in the past decade. Although he came to national prominence as a member of the Chico Hamilton quintet, Buddy has had the respect of the music trade since his introduction. In addition to his brilliant flute work, Buddy is also proficient on clarinet and the tenor and alto saxophones. Twenty five of his original compositions have been recorded by major jazz stars, and his arrangements - two of which are heard here - have been among the most musically,rewarding charts heard anywhere. At this writing, Buddy is fronting his own quartet, and is contemplating a national tour, possibly in union with Herbie Mann.
To support their collective instrumentation, Herbie and Buddy relied on the rhythm talents of three superior musicians who have attracted the approbation of jazz lovers everywhere. Pianist Jimmy Rowles has built a sterling reputation as a modernist with taste and touch adaptable to a
variety of moods. Bassist Buddy Clark and drummer Mel Lewis make up 25 per cent of the Dave Pell Octet and contribute in their playing, the rapport that is born of frequent collaboration.
Eight tunes were programmed for the set, four standards and four originals. Of the originals, two are compositions by Herbie Mann; one each by Pete Rugolo and Chico Hamilton. Herbie and Buddy interchanged instruments throughout the set, and produced these exciting tracks: Herbie's Buddy - Herbie's riff gives both players a chance to demonstrate their instrumental individuality. Starting on flutes, Herbie leads and Buddy follows through the tenor, clarinet sequences. The fills are capably handled by the rhythm trio.
Perdido - Juan Tizol's familiar standard has an especially light feeling here as the two flutes trace its passages. Herb and Buddy have a full chorus each in that order before Jimmy Rowles' romping solo. The fours exchange is started by Buddy and divided equally between the two men before the close.
Baubles, Bangles and Beads - The pretty melody from "Kismet" is reviewed in walztime before Jimmy Rowles starts the new direction. Buddy solos first, followed by Herb who also starts an exchange of fours. The arrangement is by Buddy Collette.
Give A Little Whistle - Mel Lewis sets the brisk tempo for the happy melody which finds Herbie playing piccolo. Buddy has the opening solo as Jimmy Rowles serves as the divider between the two flutes. Lewis flexes his muscles again briefly before concluding.
Here's Pete - Bearing the name of its author, Pete Rugolo, this jaunting opus finds Herbie on flute, Buddy on alto saxophone. The solo order is apparent, and the result is a sprightly performance by all concerned.
Theme From "Theme From" - Herbie Mann's title is a gentle spoof on the rash of "theme" music being heard, but the opus is a pleasant outing for tenors. Herb and Buddy play in that order before Jimmy's interesting piano thoughts. Buddy goes to clarinet for the fours leading to the close. Nancy With the Laughing Face - The melody of this lovely ballad is interwoven by the two leaders on alto flute. The use of celeste by Jimmy adds an unmistakable touch of nostalgia. Morning After - Chico Hamilton's bright composition as arranged by Buddy features his clarinet and Herbie's flute. The use of piano to underscore the voicing is in keeping with its classical lines.
A collection of reed instruments in the hands of two men with immense jazz talents are the ingredients for this album. Herbie Mann and Buddy Collette, in company with a hand picked rhythm section, have molded these elements into a highly polished musical veneer. The fraternal spirit of jazz once again prevails in the interest of good music.