Thursday, November 30, 2006

Mysterious Mann song

Playing right now: Art Farmer-Benny Golson Jazztet - Here & Now

While I was compiling the CDs last week for my parents' party, I wanted to pick a song from one of their albums by Pete Rugolo. He was an arranger for Stan Kenton who started his own group. When I dropped the needle down on the first song, the melody sounded kind of familiar to me. Then I realized it was a song that Herbie Mann played on a cassette by that my dad had by the flutist (or "flautist"). I used to play the tape all the time when I was a little kid, but I never knew the name of the song because I didn't know how to read yet. (I was probably about three or four at the time.) 30+ years of mystery solved. The name of the tune is "Here's Pete."
I looked it up on and found out it came from an album called Hi Flutin' that Herbie did with Buddy Collette, where they both switched off on a number of reeds. And then some of the titles looked familiar. Most notably there is one called "Theme From 'Theme From.'" They also do "Baubles, Bangles and Beads" which really perplexed this young reader way back when.
I went to Jerry's Records on my day off to see if I could find it. There is a BIG Herbie Mann section there, in part because he did a lot of albums and also because a lot of people resold them. There were at least half a dozen copies of the late '70s album Super Mann (cover has him emerging from a phone booth pulling off his shirt to reveal a Superman outfit), along with other bad-pun titles (Our Man Flute, Family of Mann, Et tu Flute).
Among them I found just one copy of Hi-Flutin'. It's a little beat up, but I had to buy it, regardless. I know I would've gone home craving it if I hadn't. It's a pretty straight ahead session, but they mix it up by switching instruments. In "Herbie's Buddy," they play a chorus each on one flute, let a member of the rhythm section take a chorus, then they come back on sax and then clarinet. I thought it was a pretty clever way to approach the blues. And the rhythm section consists of Mel Lewis (drums), Jimmy Rowles (piano) and Buddy Clark (bass), who are all pretty solid.

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