Herbie Mann: Memphis Underground
Herbie Mann (flute)
Atlantic Top 60: Jazz, Jive and Strut (Rhino Atlantic)
Reggie Young (guitar), Bobby Emmons (organ), Bobby Wood (electric piano), Mike Leech (Fender bass), Gene Christman (drums).
Composed by Herbie Mann.
Recorded: Memphis, TN, August 21, 1968
Rating: 85/100 (learn more)
A year after Mann, Ayers and Coryell moseyed south to record with the house rhythm section at Stax Records, renowned for its Southern-fried soul groove, “Memphis Underground” surfaced among the Top 100. Thanks to Eddie Harris's "Listen Here" and Hugh Masekela's "Grazing in the Grass," a monotonous 2-chord vamp was now obligatory for crossover jazz, and “Memphis Underground” obliged. (Jazzmen once put down rock 'n' rollers for using only three chords!) Combining fuzz-tone, B.B. King-style blues licks and Hendrix-type feedback, Coryell's trendy guitar was a jazz novelty but tame by rock standards. This dated track is more interesting historically than musically.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz