The world according to flutist and composer Herbie Mann was a utopian musical paradise where jazz is made up of of Afro-Cuban, Middle-Eastern, R&B, and nearly every other kind of music. In the 1960s, he discovered Brazil's bossa-nova; in the 1970s, he even found disco rhythms in jazz.
Unlike most of his contemporaries in jazz, when Mann began playing flute in 1940s he had no forefathers to learn from, no pioneers of jazz flute to idolize. He was forced to look elsewhere—both inside and outside of jazz—to develop his approach to jazz and the flute. Among numerous musical influences, Mann was particularly drawn to rhythms and melodies from South America and the Caribbean.
Herbie Mann was born Herbert Jay Solomon in Brooklyn, New York, on April 16, 1930