3 Songs, 38 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

By the early '60s, Herbie Mann had already spent several years establishing himself among the jazz cognoscenti as a virtuosic flautist and a wildly prolific recording artist, but it was 1962's At the Village Gate that catapulted him to stardom. Not only did the live album rack up shockingly high sales for a jazz record, its opening track, "Comin' Home, Baby," became a crossover pop hit when the tune's sinuous, bluesy lines and cool jazz feel caught the public's ear. The other two cuts are extended explorations of classic Gershwin compositions from Porgy and Bess: "Summertime" and "It Ain't Necessarily So." The former bears a sultry feel and a Brazilian lilt to the rhythm, making good use of the four-man percussion section: drummers Chief Bey and Rudy Collins, conga man Ray Mantilla, and vibraphonist Hagood Hardy. The latter is transformed from a serpentine midtempo tune to a churning, polyrhythmic burner in 6/8 time. And at 20 minutes, it gives Mann a chance to really stretch out, displaying both his lyrical side and his improvisational chops.

EDITORS’ NOTES

By the early '60s, Herbie Mann had already spent several years establishing himself among the jazz cognoscenti as a virtuosic flautist and a wildly prolific recording artist, but it was 1962's At the Village Gate that catapulted him to stardom. Not only did the live album rack up shockingly high sales for a jazz record, its opening track, "Comin' Home, Baby," became a crossover pop hit when the tune's sinuous, bluesy lines and cool jazz feel caught the public's ear. The other two cuts are extended explorations of classic Gershwin compositions from Porgy and Bess: "Summertime" and "It Ain't Necessarily So." The former bears a sultry feel and a Brazilian lilt to the rhythm, making good use of the four-man percussion section: drummers Chief Bey and Rudy Collins, conga man Ray Mantilla, and vibraphonist Hagood Hardy. The latter is transformed from a serpentine midtempo tune to a churning, polyrhythmic burner in 6/8 time. And at 20 minutes, it gives Mann a chance to really stretch out, displaying both his lyrical side and his improvisational chops.

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