Top Artists – Herbie Mann

Herbie Mann – Returns To The Village Gate

More Herbie Mann

Hot Stamper Pressings of Superb Jazz Recordings in Stock

  • Herbie Mann’s 1963 release makes its Hot Stamper debut on this early Atlantic Blue & Green label pressing with phenomenal you-are-there sound
  • You won’t believe how good the Live Jazz Club sound captured on this album is, but it might take a White Hot Stamper pressing like this one to really make the case
  • This is an exceptionally well recorded jazz flute album, and if you want to hear this kind of sound, you going to need an early ’60s pressing, because none of the reissues we played even came close
  • “By 1961, flutist Herbie Mann was really starting to catch on with the general public. This release, a follow-up to his hit At the Village Gate…features Mann in an ideal group with either Hagood Hardy or Dave Pike on vibes, Ahmed Abdul-Malik or Nabil Totah on bass, drummer Rudy Collins and two percussionists. Mann really cooks on four of his own originals, plus ‘Bags’ Groove,’ blending in the influence of African, Afro-Cuban and even Brazilian jazz.”
  • A Jazz Classic from 1963 that should appeal to any fan of Bossa Nova music
  • The complete list of titles from 1963 that we’ve reviewed to date can be found here.

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Herbie Mann and Joao Gilberto – Herbie Mann and Joao Gilberto With Carlos Jobim

More Joao Gilberto

More Bossa Nova

  • This wonderful compilation makes its Hot Stamper debut here with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish
  • It’s big, lively, clear and present, with the kind of Tubey Magical richness we flip out for here at Better Records
  • A difficult record to find with audiophile playing surfaces – we go years without seeing a clean copy in stereo
  • “The two make an effective team, with Gilberto’s sometimes sentimental, sometimes impressionistic works effectively supported by Mann’s lithe flute solos.”

This record has the potential to sound its best on the right early pressing. Here are hundreds of others:

Records that Sound Best on the Right Early Pressing

This record sounds best in stereo, not mono. Here are hundreds of others we prefer in stereo:

Mono or Stereo? Stereo!

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Herbie Mann – Latin Mann

This White Hot Stamper 2-pack has Demo Disc Live Latin Jazz sound and crazy fun music. Both sides are so clear, rich, natural and present you’ll have a very hard time finding fault with the sound. And the music is great too – this is a Big Band with a swarm of Latin percussionists added to kick up the heat.

This Columbia recording from 1965 has the sound we love here at Better Records, or at least two of the sides of two of these copies do. When you play the other sides you may be in for quite a shock, especially the bad side two included in this two pack. (more…)

Herbie Mann / Live At The Village Gate on Audio Fidelity Heavy Vinyl

Sonic Grade: D-

Hall of Shame pressing. It’s yet another Disastrous Heavy Vinyl release with godawful sound.

What a murky mess.

Hard to imagine you couldn’t find a common domestic pressing that wouldn’t sound better.. 

“Mann’s hit version of “Comin’ Home Baby” from this live set became his first big hit. Composer Ben Tucker plays second bass on that cut, and Mann’s other sidemen include vibraphonist Hagood Hardy, bassist Ahmed Abdul-Malik, drummer Rudy Collins, and Chief Bey and Ray Mantilla on percussion. In addition to “Comin’ Home Baby,” Mann and his men perform memorable versions of “Summertime” and “It Ain’t Necessarily So”; the latter is 20 minutes long. Recommended.” – AMG 4 1/2 Star Rave Review 


Sarah Vaughan / Self-Titled – A Winner from Speakers Corner

Reviews and Commentaries for the Music of Sarah Vaughan

Hot Stamper Pressings of Outstanding Pop and Jazz Vocal Albums

Sonic Grade: B

A TOP TITLE from Speakers Corner on 180 gram. This is an outstanding Sarah Vaughan album with very good sound and top players like Clifford Brown on trumpet, Paul Quinichette on tenor sax and Herbie Mann on flute. 

We haven’t played a copy of this record in years, but back in the day we liked it, so let’s call it a “B” with the caveat that the older the review, the more likely we are to have changed our minds. (more…)

Herbie Mann – Live At The Village Gate

  • A killer Triple Plus (A+++) side one backed with a solid Double Plus (A++) side two for what is probably the most well known album Herbie Mann ever mad
  • One of the better flute jazz albums we’ve heard, both in terms of sonics and music
  • 4 1/2 stars on Allmusic: “In addition to “Comin’ Home Baby,” Mann and his men perform memorable versions of “Summertime” and “It Ain’t Necessarily So”; the latter is 20 minutes long. Recommended.”

We’ve been trying to track down top pressings of this one for ages, but they are tough to come by and often noisy.

Both sides really shine with a meaty bottom end, lots of energy, an extended top and wonderful transparency. The soundstage is big and open with lots of depth, giving room to all the various players and their instruments.

Would you believe a song from this album was sampled and turned into a big hit in the ’90s? The great version of Gershwin’s Summertime on side one provided the backbone for the band Sublime’s 1997 single Doin’ Time. Maybe not of much interest to most of us baby boomer audiophiles, but the younger guys around here all had a good laugh when they recognized the break. Maybe your kids will too? (more…)