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DVD/Video/Film Reviews

The Future 2 Future DVD- A Feature 4 Feature MVD (Most Valuable Document)

By Published: March 4, 2003
Speaking of technique, how in the world is Matt Garrison going to possibly expand upon his astounding abilities as a soloist, brought to bear here most conspicuously on "Virtual Hornets"? While, it seems, using every filament of every muscle of every finger on each hand, Garrison channels the spirit and technique of Jaco, McLaughlin and Paco de Lucia as he extends the boundaries of the instrument with a fluid amalgam of completely unique phraseology. Herbie himself posits an answer to the question during the added-content segment (in affirmation of the talents and unique contributions of each band member, Herbie shortly ruminates on each while showcasing respective solo spots), which emphasizes Garrison's contributions as an amazingly intuitive groover and helmsman. For an example of this, check out the bounce in the bass ostinato lock-up with the drums at the end of "Dolphin Dance" or the subtleties of what he does with Herbie's classic floater, "Butterfly".

Now to Ms. Carrington who displays a versatile command of ultra-modern and traditional drum styles throughout, as well as contributing some surprisingly strong vocal work on "Kebero" and "The Essence"- drumming diva indeed. As Herbie says during her featurette, she's a pro through and through, but I feel compelled to relate that she manages to convey more than her fair share of sensual heat through this medium, mostly through her palpable, sometimes tribal, intensity. The lady has a way of generating her own space in the groove, not easily done in a unit this cohesive, and I find my eyes and ears training on her, especially whenever the music takes a turn. Her performance on "Tony Williams" does the departed maestro proud, and when Herbie adds the conjunctive "or daughter" to the subject "son" during the second verse of the magnanimous poetry acknowledging Tony's place at the pinnacle of the drumming world, it's a fitting affirmation of her dedication and talent.

It would be easy to overlook Darrell Diaz , and as musical director, this may in fact be part of his game plan, as he provides much of the electronic groundwork which Herbie soars over in straight-ahead, avant, lyrical, or atmospheric fashion. Herbie took the giant step of securing a Steinway grand for every stop on the tour, but the overall effect of the performance, of which his acoustic pianisms play such a large part, is surely electronic. Looking for harmonic invention, erudite sophistication, motific development and straight-up chops? Remember, Mr. Hancock recently proved he remains grammy-worthy as a pure soloist on the acoustic instrument (for "My Ship" on last year's Directions in Music ) and so he does, at sweet length, on every tune. That said, it's got to be quite the compliment that the master himself relinquishes the floor to Diaz for all of the set's work on one of his signature axes, the Fender Rhodes. Look for Diaz cutting loose on lead synth over Herbie's still-state-of-the-funk clav accompaniment prior to Herbie's final far-reaching acoustic ride on the transcendent, 17-minute version of "Chameleon" that serves as the closer and encore.

It should be remembered that this band turned in some monumental shows during its road run, including some exceeding three hours, with single musical statements weighing in at the 40-minute mark. It should be remembered that many packed houses were full of dancing, vociferous kids who craved merely a Herbie rerun, let alone all the reinvention that came along with it. By definition, this ensemble will never attain the project's implied lofty objective; that is, the intent to be all that portends jazz's future. But one screening of this DVD causes anticipation for a more achievable and perhaps more momentous idea - the chance for this band to reach its utmost potential over a deservedly full (or at least, fuller ) lifespan - not unlike some of Herbie's, and jazz's, best groups.

Approx Running Time: 1 hour and 44 minutes

Track Listing: Wisdom; Kebero; This is DJ Disk; Dolphin Dance; Virtual Hornets; The Essence; Butterfly; Tony Williams; Rockit; Chameleon.

Personnel: Herbie Hancock- piano, keyboards; Wallace Roney- trumpet; Darrell Diaz- keyboards, vocals; Terri Lyne Carrington- drums, vocals; Matthew Garrison- bass; DJ Disk- turntable.

Special Features
MX Multiangle Video Collage
DTS & Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround SOund
Original "Rockit" Video from 1983
Interview with Herbie Hancock
Selected Discography with Bonus Audio Samples

Above photos of F2F, Burlington, VT, 2002 by Hugh Kalergis

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