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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 July, 2003, 03:35 GMT 04:35 UK
Jazz flautist Herbie Mann mourned
Herbie Mann
Herbie Mann: "Love of beauty, of rhythm and melodies"
Jazz flute pioneer Herbie Mann has died aged 73 after a lengthy fight against prostate cancer.

The New Yorker was credited with pioneering the use of Brazilian and African sounds into mainstream jazz and his records helped usher in the Bossa Nova craze.

Towards the end of his life, he returned to his Eastern European, Jewish heritage in making music he described as a kind of "gypsy jazz".

He died in his sleep earlier this week at his home in Pecos, New Mexico, with his wife, Susan Janeal Arison, and three of his four children by his side.

Arison said of him: "He had a love of beauty, of rhythm and melodies. He was somebody whose music flowed from his heart, and he marched to the beat of his own drum."

There was never any ego or anything like that with him. He taught me so much
Grammy-winning jazz flutist Dave Valentin
Brooklyn-born Mann started off on tenor sax but switched to flute when he got a job in a band with Dutch accordionist Mat Matthews.

The musician came to wider public attention in the late 1950s when he added a conga player to his own band, resulting in a distinctive sound that would pave the way for his further exploration of rhythms and harmonies from around the world.

During the 1970s, Mann also became involved in rock, pop, reggae and even disco.

National Public Radio host Billy Taylor once noted that Mann "took many jazz fans into a different place."

Grammy-winning jazz flutist Dave Valentin called Mann his best friend and mentor.

"He was my musical father. I called him Uncle Herbie. There was never any ego or anything like that with him. He taught me so much".

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