Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Herbie Mann - Mellow - Hold on, I'm Comin'

This two-disc set from Collectables features a pair of out of print Herbie Mann LPs: Mellow and Hold On, I'm Coming. Originally issued in 1981 and 1972, respectively, Mellow contains a live date from 1977. These 11 jazz-pop tracks include "Cinnamon Flower," "Hold On, I'm Comin'," and two separate versions of "Memphis Underground." This is an enjoyable reissue from the Mann's massive catalog on Atlantic Records, but most listeners would be better served with one of the many compilations in print. - by Al Campbell, AMG

Mellow was released by Atlantic Records after dropping him from their roster. Made up primarily of outtakes from mid- to late-'70s recording sessions, the album sounds like the hodgepodge it is. Highlights include a take on Milton Nascimento's "Cinnamon Flower" and a lengthy version of Mann's classic "Memphis Underground," recorded at the 1977 Montreux Jazz Festival with guests Sonny Fortune, David Newman and the Brecker Brothers. The low point arrives with the opening track, a cover of Bob Marley's "Bend Down Low" left over from the Reggae sessions, in which Mann actually sings the lead vocal. - by Jim Newsom, AMG

This is one of the best Herbie Mann recordings and arguably his most rewarding of the 1970s. This long out of print LP features the leader/flutist, David Newman (on tenor and flute), the avant-garde guitarist Sonny Sharrock, and a fine backup rhythm section (electric pianist Pat Rebillot, bassist Andy Muson, and drummer Reggie Ferguson) stretching out on a variety of R&Bish material including "Respect Yourself," "Memphis Underground," and "Hold on, I'm Comin'." The high quality of the solos and the spirited ensembles (which were inspired by the audience at the 1972 New York Jazz Festival) make this a generally memorable session. - by Scott Yanow, AMG

Artist: Herbie Mann
Album: Mellow - Hold On, I'm Coming
Year: 1981/1972
Label: Collectables (2001)
Runtime: 42:53 + 38:17

Tracks on Mellow:
1.  Bend Down Low (Bob Marley) 6:51
2.  Sir Charles Duke (Herbie Mann) 5:21
3.  Cecelia (Paul Simon) 5:34
4.  Cinnamon Flower (Milton Nascimento) 5:06
5.  Memphis Underground (Herbie Mann) 17:03
6.  Another Star (Stevie Wonder) 5:28

Herbie Mann (Flute, Alto Flute, Vocal and Tenor Saxophone)
Richard Tee (Electric Piano) - 2,5,6
Frank Gravis (Bass) - 2,4,6
Leroy Clouden (Drums) - 2,4,6
Rafael Cruz (Percussion) - 2,4-6
Gladstone Anderson (Piano) - 1,3
Jackie Jackson (Bass) - 1,3
Winston Wright (Organ) - 1,3
Michael Richard (Drums) - 1,3
Tommy Mc Cook (Tenor Saxophone) - 1,3
Bobby Ellis (Trumpet) - 1,3
Rod Bryan (Guitar) - 1,3
Hux Brown (Guitar) - 1,3
Amory Tristao (Acoustic Guitar) - 2,4
Steve Jordan (Drums) - 4-6
Claudio Roditi (Trombone and Trumpet) - 4,6
Pat Rebillot (Clavinet) - 1
Cissy Houston (Backing Vocals) - 1
Whitney Houston (Backing Vocals) - 1
Dom Salvador (Piano) - 4
Larry Coryell (Guitar) - 5
Jim Mullen (Guitar) - 5
Tom Coppola (Piano) - 5
Don Pullen (Piano) - 5
Clifford Carter (Electric Piano) - 5
Jeff Berlin (Bass) - 5
Sammy Figueroa (Percussion) - 5
Sonny Fortune (Tenor Saxophone) - 5
Jaroslav Jakabovic (Soprano Saxophone) - 5
Michael Brecker (Tenor Saxophone) - 5
David Newman (Tenor Saxophone) - 5
Randy Brecker (Trumpet) - 5
Jeff Mironov (Guitar) - 6

Tracks on Hold On, I'm Comin':
1.  (Gimme Some Of That Good Old) Soul Beat Momma (Herbie Mann) 7:35
2.  Never Can Say Goodbye (Clifton Davis) 4:35
3.  Respect Yourself (Luther Ingram/Sir Mack Rice) 8:51
4.  Memphis Underground (Herbie Mann) 13:06
5.  Hold On, I'm Comin' (Isaac Hayes/David Porter) 4:07

Herbie Mann (Flute)
David Newman (Tenor Saxophone and Flute)
Sonny Sharrock (Guitar)
Pat Rebillot (Electric Piano)
Andy Muson (Bass)
Reggie Ferguson (Drums)

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