This is an album of rejoice and sadness, firstly it is the meeting of two old friends who starting playing together in 1951 in Tony's Bar on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, NYC and secondly it marks the final recording of the legendary, and much respected flautist Herbie Mann, to whom the album is dedicated.
Dedicated to the spirit and music of flutist Herbie Mann, who died in 2003, Beyond Brooklyn
documents a meeting of Mann and alto saxophonist Phil Woods more than 50 years after they first played together at Tony's Bar in Brooklyn in 1951. It's a joyous reunion, with the pair touching on classic bases in the jazz repertoire, including Oscar Pettiford
's "Bohemia After Dark," a tune they played when they first met, and Charlie Parker
's "Au Privave." Both mellowed through the years, with Mann's flute growing more lyrical and less piping and Woods's alto becoming warmer, less driven, and less intense. The results are consistently engaging, a deeply involving dialogue on a half-century of jazz experience. It's a CD of exalted moments: Mann is wonderfully airy on Randy Weston
's "Little Niles," Woods sweetly liquid on clarinet on Duke Ellington
's "Azure" and lush yet keening on Billy Strayhorn's "Blood Count." They're complemented throughout by fine support that includes trombonist Jay Ashby and pianist Alain Mallet. --Stuart Broomer