Om Herbie Mann
The two words jazz flute usually conjure up an image of the eternally whiskered Herbie Mann. At first a disciple of the cool school, Mann switched from sax to flute in the late 50s and turned heads with his accessible, swinging Bop. His complex rhythmic sense coupled with his understanding of harmony lines came to fruition in the early 60s when Mann took up Afro-Cuban and Bossa Nova music to massive success as he recorded with the likes of Antonio Carlos Jobim, Willie Bobo and, in a change of pace, Bill Evans. His albums from this period mesh with both solitary listening and parties (Memphis Underground may be his biggest album). In the 70s, he switched gears again and put out a series of Fusion and pop/reggae/Disco albums. When the hits finally stopped, Mann returned to mainstream jazz but continued to use his position to explore all avenues of world music until he passed away in 2004.