Herbie Mann: Memphis Underground

Track

Memphis Underground

Artist

Herbie Mann (flute)

CD

Atlantic Top 60: Jazz, Jive and Strut (Rhino Atlantic)

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Musicians:

Herbie Mann (flute), Roy Ayers (vibes), Larry Coryell (guitar),

Reggie Young (guitar), Bobby Emmons (organ), Bobby Wood (electric piano), Mike Leech (Fender bass), Gene Christman (drums)

.

Composed by Herbie Mann

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Recorded: Memphis, TN, August 21, 1968

Albumcoverherbiemann-atlantictop60-jazzjiveandstrut

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

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  • 1 Dale Pearce // Aug 03, 2008 at 07:31 PM
    The album was recorded at Chips Moman's American Sound Studios not at Stax. Stax had their famous house band while American had a perhaps less famous but equally talented one of their own.