Rare like new original 1971 release with like new vinyl and frame-ready die-cut cover. Considered a breakthrough album for Mann, it features Duane Allman on guitar. See notes below.
It’s a steamy August night in New York City, 1970, and Herbie Mann is in his pad when he hears equally hot music blasting from nearby Central Park. The veteran jazz flutist, bandleader and sessionman for Sarah Vaughn, Count Basie and Chet Baker, is bewitched. A female voice – as sultry as the weather – oozes carnality, while a guitarist bends blue notes like an electrified Robert Johnson. Behind them, a fiery band blends southern R&B and rock’n’roll.
Mann grabs his axe, heads for the park and, squeezing his way on-stage, joins the dozen-strong cast of crack instrumentalists. Hey! – says the look on their delighted faces – it’s Herbie Mann! The female voice, Mann discovers, belongs to blond bombshell Bonnie Bramlett; on the other vocal mike is her handsome, bearded husband Delaney, dispensing cues with the neck of his guitar. The collective crew are Delaney & Bonnie & Friends, the Friends tonight including transcendent slide guitarist Duane Allman – whose own Allman Brothers Band is just taking off – plus King Curtis – hands down the greatest soul saxophonist of all time.
Duane went on to get recruited by Mann to play guitar on the sessions for his breakthrough 1971 Push Push album. Makes one wonder if the Central Park concert is where they first met and decided to work together...