Sunday, June 30, 2024


Herbie Mann Octet - Push Push

I hope you're ready to toot your flutes as we close out the first half of 2024 on my continuing mission to slag every worthwhile, mostly-lossless jazz concert off Bill's Baffling Bootlegs and make each into something you could actually listen to all the way through.

Today we have someone I've for some strange reason never covered on here, but have been meaning to, and thanks to ol' Bill and his predilection to just surreptitiously record half the shows he promoted -- mostly unbeknownst to the artists -- I can!

Most people over a certain age -- say, 116 -- know this guy on the stool, and the tale of how he was central to bringing his instrument center stage into the Jazz world, whilst simultaneously helping usher in what came to be called World Music with his concept-LP explorations of different cultures in the 1960s.

People are often split on him, with some disparaging him as the Kenny G of his day, and others elevating him to Essential Legend and Soul-Jazz pioneer.

I'll say this, though: the Kenny G of his day wouldn't have had Sonny Sharrock in his band for several years. Really a whole host of heavyweights were members of Herbie Mann's family at one time or another, from Roy Ayers to Fathead Newman to Pat Rebillot.

Herbie's 95th b'day will be next April -- he passed in 2003, exactly 30 years after these performances -- and I have big plans for that on this page, but why wait? I'm so into these Newport tapes from the 1970s, there's Carnegie Hall ones and Apollo Theater ones and just an embarrassment of riches over there on Graham Cracker's Trove Of Dubiously Copyrighted Gems, and I have been going through them to determine which ones are lossless enough to reconstruct and share here.

Yesterday's maniac Urbaniak was 50, so let's time travel one year previous to 51 years ago today in the same, storied venue for today's exercise in Funkness.

Herbie Mann Octet
Newport Jazz Festival
Carnegie Hall
New York City, NY USA

01 Push Push
02 Never Can Say Goodbye
03 Turtle Bay
04 Nighttime Is the Right Time
05 Memphis Underground
06 Hold On, I'm Comin' (Apollo Theater, NYC 7.2.1973)

Total time: 56:15

Herbie Mann - flute
David "Fathead" Newman - tenor saxophone & flute
Pat Rebillot - keyboards
Bob Mann - guitar
Jerry Friedman - guitar
Carlos "Patato" Valdez - congas & percussion
Bob Babbitt - bass
Andrew Smith - drums

320/48k mono audio (Track 06 is stereo) streamed from Wolfgang's Vault
spectral analysis goes to 20 kHz, making this more or less equivalent to a preFM source
converted to 16/44 CD Audio, repaired, tracked & slightly remastered by EN, June 2024
286 MB FLAC/direct link

I even dared to include a bonus jam from a couple of days later in the aforementioned Apollo in Harlem, because what are the jams if they aren't kicked out to the waiting masses? Or at least the three people that read my blog, which gets the page traffic of a Lamppost Orchard.

The inclusion of the bonus track in this one led me immediately to what's gonna be the first post of July too, all about an exonerated flea and his tribe, of whom I never knew there were live tapes.

Does that owl look like Bill Graham scowling at me from the Great Beyond for looting his shameless Vault? Oooh, that reminds me, the second post of July is gonna be all about another Owl, and his obsessions in the Authentic.

Until then, keep your flutes polished and your family Manned with this hour of power from one of Herbie's great bands. Hold on, he's comin'!--J.

4.16.1930 - 7.1.2003