A record that definitely delivers the very best of Herbie Mann – especially if, like us, you think that one of his greatest contributions to music was finding a way to make the flute sound surprisingly soulful in the 60s! Herbie wasn't the first to pick up the instrument and use it for groovy instrumentals – Moe Koffman
and a few others had some luck before this work – but the cuts here showcase a time when Herbie was really exploding, working with great production and soulful backing on Atlantic records, and even recording with a few singers too. The music is mostly instrumental, but there's also cuts recorded with Tamiko Jones and Carmen McRae, and the album also features one A&M title, in addition to his Atlantic work here. The set has a great focus on the 45rpm single mixes of these tunes – and the set even moves into a bit of the disco years, with titles that include "Philly Dog", "To Sir With Love", "Life For Life", "Unchain My Heart", "Memphis Two Step", "Push Push (part 1)", "Respect Yourself", "Hijack", "Cajun Moon", "Superman", "Waterbed", Comin Home Baby", "A Man & A Woman", and "Memphis Underground". Also includes a bonus track – "It's A Funky Thing Right On", a recorking of "Memphis Underground" with vocals by Little Milton!