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At the Village Gate

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Album Review

At the Village Gate is the album that first brought Herbie Mann to widespread popular attention, thanks to the inclusion of "Comin' Home Baby," which soon became one of the flautist's signature songs. By the time of the record's release in 1962, however, Mann had already been a bandleader for years, honing his pioneering blend of Afro-Cuban and Brazilian music with hard bop's funky structures just under the public radar. As a result, At the Village Gate sounds more like a summation than a beginning. The nearly 40-minute album is a mere three tracks long, with an epic 20-minute version of "It Ain't Necessarily So" taking up the entirety of the second side of the original vinyl. The highlight, however, is a stunning take on the standard "Summertime," one that turns the Gershwin tune into an easy swinging, proto-bossa nova song that features a glorious extended solo by Mann over a conga beat. In its way, it's just as revelatory as Miles Davis' better-known recasting of the tune., Rovi


Born: 16 April 1930 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Herbie Mann played a wide variety of music throughout his career. He became quite popular in the 1960s, but in the '70s became so immersed in pop and various types of world music that he seemed lost to jazz. However, Mann never lost his ability to improvise creatively as his later recordings attest. Herbie Mann began on clarinet when he was nine but was soon also playing flute and tenor. After serving in the Army, he was with Mat Mathews' Quintet (1953-1954) and then started working and recording...
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At the Village Gate, Herbie Mann
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