Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Music Column with William Price King – Herbie Mann #Flutist

Welcome to the Music Column with William Price King, and this week William is sharing the life and music of flutist Herbie Mann.

Herbert Jay Solomon (April 16, 1930 – July 1, 2003), known by his stage name Herbie Mann, was an American jazz flutist and important early practitioner of world music. Early in his career, he also played tenor saxophone and clarinet (including bass clarinet), but Mann was among the first jazz musicians to specialize on the flute. His most popular single was “Hijack”, which was a Billboard No. 1 dance hit for three weeks in 1975.

Mann emphasized the groove approach in his music. Mann felt that from his repertoire, the “epitome of a groove record” was Memphis Underground or Push Push, because the “rhythm section locked all in one perception.”

Herbie Mann was born in Brooklyn, New York to Harry C. Soloman who was of Russian descent and Ruth Rose who was Romanian, born in Austria-Hungary, who had come to the United States when she was six years old. Both his parents where singers and dancers and they taught Herbie to dance as well as encouraged his musical talent. This was evident early as his first professional performance was at the age of only 15 in 1945 playing at the iconic Catskills resorts. His career took off in the 1950s an he began performing as a bop flutist, playing in combos with artists such as Phil Woods, but also occasionally playing bass clarinet, tenor saxophone and solo flute.

He was an early pioneer of the fusion of jazz and world music and in 1950, following a State Department sponsored tour of Africa, he recorded Flautista, an album of Afro-Cuban Jass. He toured Brazil and was inspired, on his return to the US, to record with Brazilian musicians including Antonio Carlos Jobim. The albums helped to bring bossa nova to the United States and also Europe.

The Bill Evan’s Trio, featuring Chuck Israels on bass and Paul Motian on the drums joined Herbie Mann to record the 1964 album Nirvana, released on the Atlantic label. Here, two jazz greats create melodic harmony in an exciting bebop* context.

• Bebop – the term ‘bebop’, derived from nonsense syllables used in scat singing, is a style of jazz developed in the early to mid-1940s in the US featuring songs characterized by a fast tempo, complex chord progressions with rapid chord changes and numerous key changes. This allows instrumental virtuosity, and improvisation based on a combination of harmonic structure, and occasional references to the melody. Bebop was not intended for dancing.

 Memphis Underground, one of the best-selling jazz albums of all time, is a funky jazz flute album that mixes laid back Memphis R&B with Jamaican reggae and touches of fusion and rock. Rolling Stone said “Memphis Underground is a piece of musical alchemy, a marvelously intricate combination of the ‘ Memphis sound’ and jazz lyricism.” The album was recorded in Chips Moman’s American Studios in Memphis, a studio used by many well-known R&B and pop artists at that time. ‘ Memphis Underground’ was engineered and produced by Tom Dowd. Other than Herbie Mann the principal soloists were Roy Ayers, Larry Coryell, and Sonny Sharrock, all of whom were leading jazz musicians.

Following the 1969 Memphis Underground, there was a period of declined interest in Jazz, however a number of smooth jazz albums, influenced by Southern Soul, blues, reggae and disco, kept Herbie Mann performing, despite purist jazz fans and critics reservations. The albums kept more than Herbie Mann in work, as the other artists were some of the best-known and requested session musicians of the time. Herbie also enjoyed some pop hits which was unusual for a jazz musicians and had at least 25 albums in the Billboard 200 pop charts.

Mann was also known for his classical jazz fusion pieces, broadening his appeal into yet another music style.

“My Little Ones“, from the album ‘Concerto Grosso in D Blues’ which merges jazz and classical music, was written for Mann’s children and recorded in 1968. This wistful piece is at once loving and soaring, and is perfectly sustained by the double string quartet. This album successfully spans the decades from Tachaikovsky to Stockhausen, and from New Orleans to free jazz.

“Peace Piece”, composed by Bill Evans, bears some resemblance to Chopin’sBerseuses in D♭ major’. Both pieces use a two-chord left-hand ostinato* throughout, and both have an ornamented melodic line. This is a perfect example of the depth of Evans’ compositional technique. In this jazzy version there is a well thought out multiple flute arrangement (Mann overdubbed his flutes to create an orchestral sound) and the composition evolves into a delicate ensemble piece featuring Randy Brecker on the flugelhorn. Although there are many discordant notes, this is a peaceful song.

*Ostinato – a continually repeated musical phrase or rhythm.

In the early 1970s Herbie Mann formed Embryo Records producing jazz albums for other artists such as Ron Carter, Phil Woods and Dick Morrissey.

America/Brasil is a celebratory album marking Mann’s 65th birthday (April 1995). The emphasis here is on Mann’s Brazilian side and is as vibrant as the musical cultures it represents. Recorded live, the expertly arranged performances leave plenty of solo space and throughout Mann leads the way with Randy Brecker and Claudio Roditi on trumpet, Jim Pugh on trombone, Sergio Brandao on bass, Romero Lubambo on guitar, Ricky Sebastian on drums, and Cyro Baptiste on percussions.

His last appearance was on May 3, 2003, at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and he died less than two months later on July 1, 2003, at the age of 73, after a long battle with prostate cancer.

Buy Herbie Mann Music:

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About William Price King

William Price King is an American jazz singer, crooner, and composer.

His interest in music began at an early age when he studied piano and clarinet in high school. At Morehouse College in Atlanta where he grew up, he sang in the Glee Club and studied classical music. After graduation he went off to the Yale School of Music where he earned a Masters degree. From there he journeyed to New York where he created a jazz trio ‘Au Naturel’ which performed in some of the hottest venues in Manhattan including gigs on Broadway and the famous ‘Rainbow Room.’ These gigs opened doors for performances in Montreal and a European tour.

While touring Europe he met a lovely French lady, Jeanne Maïstre, who, a year later became his wife. King left the group ‘Au Naturel’ and settled in the south of France where he started a new life on the French Riviera, opening his own music school – the “Price King Ecole Internationale de Chant.” He has had the pleasure over the years of seeing many of his students excel as singers on a professional level, and some going on to become national celebrities. He continues to coach young singers today, in his spare time.

His debut jazz album was entitled “Home,” and was a collection of contemporary compositions he composed, with lyrics written by his wife Jeanne King. His second album was a Duo (Voice and Guitar) with Eric Sempé on the guitar. This album included original songs as well as well known standards from contemporary jazz and pop artists. The “King-Sempé” duo toured France and thrilled audiences for more than three years before going their separate ways. King has formed a new duo with French/Greek guitarist Manolis, and is now exploring new ideas, in a smooth jazz/soul/folk direction.

In addition to singing and composing, King has been collaborating with author Sally Cronin over the past few years on her blog “Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life,” with the series “A Man And His Music – Jazz, Contemporary, Classical, and Legends” and now, the “William Price King Music Column.” Working with author Sally Cronin has been an exhilarating experience in many ways and has brought a new dimension to King’s creative life. King has also created a micro blog, “Improvisation,” which features and introduces mostly jazz artists from across the jazz spectrum who have made considerable contributions in the world of jazz; and also artwork from painters who have made their mark in the world of art. This micro blog can be found on Tumblr.

His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Tormé. King has a distinctive wide-ranging voice which displays a remarkable technical facility and emotional depth.

William Price King on Tumblr – IMPROVISATION

Connect with William

Regular Venue 

You can find all of the Music Column series in this directory:

Smorgasbord Book Reviews- Born in a Treacherous Time by Jacqui Murray


I have just finished reading Born in a Treacherous Time by Jacqui Murray and very happily give the book five stars.

About the book

‘The book’s plot is similar in key ways to … Jean M. Auel’s The Clan of the Cave Bear–Kirkus Reviews

Born in the harsh world of East Africa 1.8 million years ago, where hunger, death, and predation are a normal part of daily life, Lucy and her band of early humans struggle to survive. It is a time in history when they are relentlessly annihilated by predators, nature, their own people, and the next iteration of man. To make it worse, Lucy’s band hates her. She is their leader’s new mate and they don’t understand her odd actions, don’t like her strange looks, and don’t trust her past. To survive, she cobbles together an unusual alliance with an orphaned child, a beleaguered protodog who’s lost his pack, and a man who was supposed to be dead.

Born in a Treacherous Time is prehistoric fiction written in the spirit of Jean Auel. Lucy is tenacious and inventive no matter the danger, unrelenting in her stubbornness to provide a future for her child, with a foresight you wouldn’t think existed in earliest man. You’ll close this book understanding why man not only survived our wild beginnings but thrived, ultimately to become who we are today.

My review for Born in a Treacherous Time.

Firstly, respect to the author for the amount of research needed to create this amazing story of early man born into a world still going through its growing pains. Combined with vividly created characters who you instantly relate to, this is a book you won’t want to put down.

Secondly, I now have a much greater respect for our early ancestors for whom life is brutal, with the earth still spewing lava and ash and changing the landscape continuously. Food and water is scarce; game is eaten when opportunity presents itself, and there is a hierarchy which places man way behind some of the dominant predators of the day. Some of those predators are next generation humans such as man-who-preys and they hover on the horizon menacingly.

Lucy is a female, wise beyond her years and her species, who leaves her clan following a tragedy, to bring new blood to a devastated group. She is an early healer with a knowledge of plants that is invaluable to those she comes to care for, and an ability to track and hunt as well as a man. This does not endear her to other females in the group, but as the story evolves you understand that even in this brutal time, tenderness and friendship are still possible.

This is an amazing world that Jacquie Murray has carved out of an alien landscape.There is danger, adventure, tragedy and sacrifice. There is also humanity between species and the beginnings of an understanding of the symbiotic relationship with non-humans.

I came away with a sense of kinship with Lucy and the rest of the characters. So many of their traits were recognisable even two million years later. It is only recently that they have established that most of us who are Caucasian have a very small percentage of Neanderthal DNA. That makes this story all the more fascinating knowing that there is still a connection to those who lived through this treacherous time.

Read the reviews and buy the book:

and Amazon UK:

Also by Jacqui Murray

Read all the reviews and buy the books:   Amazon Author Page US

And: Amazon UK

 Read more reviews and follow Jacqui on Goodreads:

About Jacqui Murray

Jacqui Murray is the webmaster for Worddreams, her blog about all things writing. She is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the upcoming prehistoric fiction, Born in a Treacherous Time. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for Ask a Tech Teacher an Amazon Vine Voice  a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics.

Connect to Jacqui Murray

Blog: Worddreams,
Twitter: @WordDreams
GoodreadsJacqui Murray
PinterestAsk a Tech Teacher
Amazon author pageJacqui Murray
My writing

Thank you for visiting and I hope you have enjoyed my review of Jacqui Murray’s book and will read yourself. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Music Column – Protest Songs from the last 150 years.. and still coming!

Musicians have voiced their protest for governments, wars, inequality for centuries, sometimes camouflaged with pretty words and secret codes that were only recognised by those within an inner circle.

This included innocent sounding nursery rhymes that really depicted dreadful events such as Mary, Mary Quite Contrary (Mary 1st who had Protestants despatched to the hereafter) Ring Around the Rosy (about the black death) and Ladybird, Ladybird (about Catholic persecution).

When I was a teenager in the 1960s there were plenty of examples of protest anthems against racial discrimination and later the Vietnam War.. and they filtered across to the UK charts, but were not necessarily fully  appreciated by the English audiences with little grasp of the complexities of American culture at the time.

The 1840s and 1850s

The civil rights protest songs began more than a century before with the fight for the abolition of slavery, and a group of singers The Hutchinson Family took their message to a nationwide audience in the 1840s and 1850s.

“Get Off The Track” was a song written and made famous by the most popular United States singing troupe of the 1840s and 1850s, the Hutchinson Family Singers. Scott Gac wrote a book about the Hutchinson Family called “Singing for Freedom.”

The Hutchinson Family became famous by attaching themselves to the American Anti-slavery Society, a church-based group that fought slavery in the courts. They traveled the country, singing at Society meetings, selling sheet music for their songs and, Gac says, changing the way American reformers expressed themselves.

“The Hutchinson family singers don’t invent protest music, but what the Hutchinsons create, really as American singers they create the idea of a protest singer can make money,” Gac said.

The 1960s

The abolition of slavery did not however bring the freedoms envisaged by the lyrics and 120 years later Sam Cooke released  A Change is Gonna Come during the civil rights movement. Although change did come, there are still minority groups who have still not achieved parity with the rest of us.

The Vietnam War resulted in physical and musical protests by prominent stars of film and music and their influence was felt across the Atlantic. As a long time fan of Creedence Clearwater Revival, I must have listened to ‘Fortunate Son‘ many times without realising the significance. It was only later when reading more about their music that I discovered that it was not just about the war but about the disparity of who went and who was rich enough or connected enough to be exempt!

The 1970s

In the 1970s it was the time of the feminist movement and Aretha Franklin took an Otis Redding Song. R.E.S.P.E.C.T and with a few little tweaks it became an anthem that is still as relevant today.

The 1980s

Over on our side of the water.. we had our own conflict in the 1980s – Brothers in Arms was released during The Falklands War by Dire Straits about the folly of war and was banned by the BBC!

We also had a dreadful conflict in Northern Ireland that set brother against brother and blighted the childhood of thousands of Belfast children.. Simple Minds released this in 1989.

Simple Minds

Up to the present day.

With global conflicts and discrimination against colour, race and creed, it is not surprising that there is still a need for protest songs to be aired. Sometimes at great risk to those artists in certain regimes.

For most of us Freedom of Speech is a right that we have and should cherish more. And it is interesting that most of the songs that I have mentioned have long outlived either the governments, specific heads of state and events they were protesting. Other unjust systems however do seem to find little resolution.

And now people are taking to the streets again…in particular in the run up to the vote on November 6th in the USA. There are those that say American politics and actions are none of anybody else’s business, but unfortunately everyone in this global economy is interconnected with each other.

To end this post one of the latest protest songs suggested by D.G. Kaye  Amazon

It will not only be those who live in America who will be waiting to see the outcome of the vote on November 6th.. the rest of the world is waiting too…and hoping for the best outcome for the country and those of us who depend on the strength and influence of the United States for our own stability.

Thanks for dropping in today and if you have a protest song that means a great deal to you please leave the link in the comments.