Great Ideas of Western Mann (also released as Herbie Mann Quintet featuring Jack Sheldon) is an album by American jazz flautist Herbie Mann’s Californians featuring tracks recorded in 1957 for the Riverside label.
“The immodest title of this one carries a double connotation; it was probably the first album of jazz in which the leader recorded entirely on bass clarinet and, less significantly, the first Riverside album recorded on the West Coast. The first achievement — which Mann and producer Orrin Keepnews thought of three years before Eric Dolphy broke out his bass clarinet on records — ought to be more widely known, but the usual prejudices among critics regarding Mann’s subsequent popularity among record buyers have decreed otherwise. In any case, Mann phrases on the bass clarinet pretty much the way he does on flute, with a definite personality, plenty of swing, and a airy outlook that makes the instrument sound less sinister. Stylistically, this is strictly a mainstream West Coast bop blowing session, with a young Jack Sheldon offering up splendid, in-the-pocket open and muted trumpet. Jimmy Rowles (piano), Buddy Clark (bass), and Mel Lewis (drums) comprise the swinging rhythm section. Miles Davis’ “The Theme” and Cole Porter’s “Get Out of Town” contain the tastiest solos, with Mann’s own “A Stella Performance” running closely behind, but all tracks are consistently good. On the CD edition, there is one break from the format, the addition of another track from the July 3, 1957, session, the lengthy “Blues for Tomorrow” (originally released on the anthology of that name), by the “East Coast All-Stars” — with Gigi Gryce, John Coltrane, and Coleman Hawkins.” – Richard S. Ginell /AllMusic.
“The Theme” (Miles Davis) – 6:41
“Lady Bird” (Tadd Dameron) – 8:58
“Get Out of Town” (Cole Porter) – 5:37
“Is It True What They Say About Dixie?” (Irving Caesar, Sammy Lerner, Gerald Marks) – 5:33
“A Handful of Stars” (Jack Lawrence, Ted Shapiro) – 7:32
“A Stella Performance” (Herbie Mann) – 8:46
Herbie Mann – bass clarinet
Jack Sheldon – trumpet
Jimmy Rowles – piano
Buddy Clark – bass
Mel Lewis – drums
Recorded: July 3, 1957
Los Angeles, California
Producer: Orrin Keepnews