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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Herbie Hancock: Maiden Voyage

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Over the past forty-nine years there's been no shortage of ink spilled extolling the musical virtues of Herbie Hancock's 1965 recording, Maiden Voyage. Featuring the great trumpet of Freddie Hubbard and the bracing tenor of George Coleman, the record is as good as any effort turned in by Hancock during that period. It's a record every jazz fan should know. Unfortunately, Maiden Voyage also has a long-standing reputation for mediocre sound quality. In another review of an expensive vinyl re-release of this record I wrote, “There is nothing to be gained by a first-class analogue pressing of a ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Herbie Hancock: The Complete Columbia Albums Collection 1972-1988

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As Legacy Records slowly works its way through complete album collection boxes for artists ranging from Stanley Clarke and The Brecker Brothers to the massive Miles Davis and Johnny Cash boxes, one of the notable absences has been keyboardist Herbie Hancock. While he was not a Columbia artist for as long as either Cash or Davis, he was around long enough to release a total of 31 albums over the course of seventeen years--though a full 25 percent of them were never issued Stateside. Legacy redeems itself with the long overdue The Complete Columbia Albums Collection 1972-1988 by ...

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International Jazz Day: Istanbul, Turkey April 30, 2013

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International Jazz DayIstanbul, TurkeyApril 30, 2013At a morning press conference opening the 10th annual Panama Jazz Festival in January, 2013, a long table was peopled by dignitaries and musical dignitaries. Festival highlight, saxophonist Wayne Shorter sat in the center (almost like Jesus in the Last Supper configuration), flanked by the ambitious and outspokenly idealistic festival founder, pianist Danilo Perez, singer Ruben Blades, and Shorter's longtime friend and ally, pianist Herbie Hancock. At some point, late in the proceedings that morning, Hancock made a declaration: “I was just thinking that on April 30th , it will be the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Herbie Hancock: Inventions and Dimensions

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Recorded in August of 1963, pianist Herbie Hancock's Inventions and Dimensions puts pulsing, grooving rhythms at the center of the music, with Latin percussive elements and--in the best jazz tradition of the times--lots of blues. This isn't Hancock's most well-known date from his tenure at Blue Note, but it's an important recording for both its structural sophistication and the notably high quality of the piano improvisations, no small feat for so superlative an artist. The title of the opening “Succotash" suggests some down-home blue burner that might have been at home on one of the label's funkier soul-jazz ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Herbie Hancock: Empyrean Isles

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As a member of Miles Davis' second quintet during the 1960s, pianist Herbie Hancock rarely performed live under his own leadership, but he did take the time to record. Hancock's 1964 effort, Empyrean Isles, remains one of the most diverse and often challenging records of the pianist's tenure with Blue Note Records. It's a rare jazz record that offers both a hugely popular hit, as well as an outré masterwork of rhythmic repetition and angular melodies. A masterpiece like Empyrean Isles deserves a first-class reissue, and the good folks at Music Matters have undertaken to press the ultimate ...

JAZZ IN THE AQUARIAN AGE

Herbie Hancock: The Chameleon Shows His Colors

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[Herbie Hancock has a long history of mixing it up--from jazz to funk, pop, and everything in between. At the time I did this interview with him in the summer of 1979, he'd been making ventures away from straight-ahead jazz for some time, but they were still fresh enough to have some fans up in arms. From today's perspective, though, it's clear that his eclecticism is a big part of what makes him the grand man of music that he is.] Ever since his 1973 Head Hunters (Columbia) album, Herbie Hancock has been a subject of some ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett, McCoy Tyner: Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett, McCoy Tyner

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Atlantic Records issued this collection 1976, featuring two tracks each from four of the most important pianists in the post-bop era. Excepting one piece, each pianist is represented here in trio format. The Keith Jarrett and Chick Corea offerings are from their own 1966 sessions as leaders. Jarrett contributes two original compositions and is joined by drummer Paul Motian and bassist Charlie Haden in pleasurable but somewhat conservative outings. Corea brings two different lineups: Joe Chambers on drums and Steve Swallow on bass alone for the pianist's own “Tones for Joan's Bone's," while trumpeter ...



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