The Evolution of Mann

The Evolution of Mann

Herbie Mann and the Flute in Jazz

by Cary Ginell 


More than any other musician, Herbie Mann was responsible for establishing the flute as an accepted jazz instrument. Prior to his arrival, the flute was a secondary instrument for saxophonists, but Mann found a unique voice for the flute, presenting it in different musical contexts, beginning with Afro-Cuban, and then continuing with music from Brazil, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Japan, and Eastern Europe.

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 In The Evolution of Mann: Herbie Mann and the Flute in Jazz (April 22, Hal Leonard Books, $18.99), Cary Ginell explores Mann’s fascinating career, which spanned five decades, from his beginnings in a tiny Brooklyn nightclub to his appearances on international stages. “I want to be as synonymous with the flute as Benny Goodman is for the clarinet,” Mann was fond of saying.  By the time he died of prostate caner in 2003, he had fulfilled his desires.

As Ginell explains, Mann never had a “business plan” for how he was going to achieve his loft aspirations. Instead, he relied on one word: opportunity.  A self-described restless spirit, his insatiable curiosity about the world led him to experiment with different kinds of sounds, becoming a virtual Pied Piper of jazz.  He was one of the first jazz musicians in the post-big band era to have commercial crossover success in the pop world, “opening the door” as Mann was fond of saying, to audiences beyond the comfort of the jazz nightclub scene of the 1950s.

and I would respond, ‘And you’re not going to know where I’m going to be tomorrow.’” He attracted thousands to his concerts while alienating purists and critics alike.

In The Evolution of Mann, Ginell writes, In getting to know Herbie toward the end of his life, I found he possessed a rare combination of passions, professionalism, business acumen, confidence, ego, and musical ability, but most of all, an insatiable curiosity, the combination of which enabled him to explore musical frontiers where no one before had thought of journeying.”

The Evolution of Mann truly is the story of jazz’s most intrepid explorers.

April 22, 2014
Paperback Original
216 pages
6″ x 9″
Two 8-page photo inserts
Hal Leonard Books is an imprint of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group


Cary Ginell 11-15-12Cary Ginell is an award-winning author, annotator, discographer, and music historian whose expertise encompasses a wide variety of musical genres.  He has been honored five times by the Association for Recorded Sound Collections, is a recipient of the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award, and was nominated for a Grammy.  He lives in Thousand Oaks, Calif., and is available for interview.


 Mr. B: The Music and Life of Billy Eckstine — 9781458419804

Walk Tall: The Music and Life of Julian “Cannonball” Adderley – 9781458419798




Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group, the trade book division of Hal Leonard Corporations, publishes books on the performing arts under the imprints Hal Leonard Books, Backbeat Books, Amadeus Press, and Applause Theatre and Cinema Books.

Posted on March 19, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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