Pure genius from Herbie Mann's mid 60s years – a set that features mostly Latin grooves overall, and some great early piano from a young Chick Corea! First up is Monday Night At The Village Gate – an album that has a hard Latin feel throughout, thanks to an ultra-hip group that includes Chick Corea on piano, Dave Pike on vibes, Mark Weinstein on trombone, and Bruno Carr on drums – plus some crackling work on congas from the legendary Carlos Patato Valdes! Tracks are long, and awash in great solos, especially from Herbie, who seems to play harder here than ever. Titles include "You're Gonna Make It With Me", "Away From The Crowd", "In Escambrun", and "The Young Turks". Next is Standing Ovation At Newport – one of the few to feature Mann in the company of pianist Chick Corea – who steps out here with some hard, soulful, Latin-inflected energy that's totally great – and which really makes the group cook. Other players include Dave Pike on vibes and Patato Valdes on congas – and the great Ben Tucker joins the group on an extremely popular 10 minute version of his composition "Comin Home Baby", one of Herbie's all-time hits. Other tracks are equally long and jazzy – and titles include "Mushi Mushi" and "Patato". After that is Latin Mann, a rare Columbia Records outing from Herbie – but it's easily one of his greatest of the 60s, thanks to some really smoking arrangements from Oliver Nelson
– plus an all-star cast of players that includes Carmell Jones, Dave Pike, Jimmy Heath, Patato Valdez, Willie
Bobo, Charlie Palmieri, and a young Chick Corea on piano! Tracks are short, tight, and very rhythmic – grooving in a snapping approach to Latin that's filled with plenty of soul, but which also features plenty of jazzy touches as well. A few tunes here are familiar, but they're given wonderful new treatment by Herbie and Nelson
– and the record easily beats most Verve or Impulse sessions of this type at their own game! Tracks include "Bijou", "Ave Maria Morena", "Watermelon Man", "Interlude", "Let's Boom Chitty Boom", "Senor Blues", "Jungle Fantasy", and "Jive Samba". The CD's completed with 7 more tracks from the album The Roar Of The Greasepaint – a surprisingly great album from Herbie Mann – especially considering that it's based around a Broadway score! Don't let that aspect fool you, though, because the groove's all Latin all the way through – as most numbers feature Chick Corea on piano, stepping out nice and hard in a lineup that also includes Mark Weinstein on trombone and Dave Pike on vibes. Tracks are arranged by Ray Ellis, but with a much freer groove than usual – much more Mann-styled overall – and titles include "The Joker", "Who Can I Turn To", "Look At That Face", and "Feeling Good".