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Herbie Hancock: Inspired By the Written Word of a Friend

By Published: November 19, 2007

AAJ: When you're out on tour, will this be the music people will be primarily hearing?

HH: My tours from this year—and the end of last year—it was my decision to design a program that's an overview of the highlights, what people would consider to be the highlights of my career. We've been playing "Watermelon Man and "Chameleon and "Maiden Voyage and some things from my last record, Possibilities. On my next tour, I'm going to have to change a few things around because we're going to do some things from the new record.

AAJ: Where do you get your inspiration these days? Your projects are various and they always sound different. What moves you?

HH: From living. But at the same time, I've been practicing Buddhism thirty-five years. It really helps me to recognize a larger overview of life than what my perception was in the past. It's a much better place to be, believe me. [laughs] It works for me. It works for everybody else I know that's ever been exposed to this practice of Buddhism.

Because it's inclusive. When you start being exclusive, and kicking things out, you always run into trouble. But when you start recognizing even the small things that are nice, acknowledging the beauty of the smallest things and acknowledging the full elements of something outside the box, it gives you a chance to grow. If you keep locking yourself in, how in the hell are you going to grow? If you're a kid and never ask questions, you'll still just be like that. Who wants to be like that? [laughs] That's not what we're here to do. We're here to grow. And the Buddhism helps me to grow.

Selected Discography

Herbie Hancock, River: The Joni Letters (Verve, 2007)
Herbie Hancock, Possibilities (Hear Music, 2005)
Herbie Hancock/Michael Brecker/Roy Hargrove, Directions in Music (Verve, 2003)
Herbie Hancock, Future2Future (Verve, 2003)
Herbie Hancock, Gerswhin's World (Verve, 1998)
Herbie Hancock, The New Standard (Verve, 1995)
Jack DeJohnette, Parallel Realities (MCA, 1990)
Michael Brecker, Don't Try This at Home (Impulse!, 1988)
Herbie Hancock, Future Shock (Columbia, 1983)
Herbie Hancock, Mr. Hands (Columbia, 1980)
Herbie Hancock, V.S.O.P. Live Under the Sky (Legacy, 1979)
Joni Mitchell, Mingus (Asylum, 1979)
Herbie Hancock, Man-Child (Legacy, 1975)
Herbie Hancock, Thrust (Legacy, 1974)
Herbie Hancock, Head Hunters (Legacy, 1973)
Herbie Hancock, Mwandishi (Warner Bros., 1970)
Freddie Hubbard, Red Clay (CTI, 1970)
Herbie Hancock, The Prisoner (Blue Note, 1969)
Miles Davis, In a Silent Way (Legacy, 1969)
Miles Davis, Nefertiti (Legacy, 1967)
Miles Davis, Miles Smiles (Legacy, 1966)
Herbie Hancock, Maiden Voyage (Blue Note, 1965)
Bobby Hutcherson, Components (Blue Note, 1965)
Herbie Hancock, Takin' Off (Blue Note, 1962)
Donald Byrd, Royal Flush (Blue Note, 1961)

Photo Credit
Courtesy of Herbie Hancock

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