The term "electronica" wasn’t in use back in the day of "Rockit," but surely the Herbie Hancock/Bill Laswell team laid a lot of the groundwork for the genre’s emergence. By now, of course, dance music and DJ culture have had a considerable impact on the jazz scene. With Future2Future, Herbie joins the fray, reuniting with Laswell to make his most powerful and relevant music in years.
You can trace this music’s creative lineage back all the way to Mwandishi. Although drum-n-bass and turntablist notions predominate, there’s a strong acoustic presence as well — far stronger than at any point during Herbie’s Future Shock period. He plays Rhodes throughout much of the album, and is joined frequently by Wayne Shorter on tenor and soprano, Charnett Moffett on bass, and Jack DeJohnette on drums. Remarkably, these leading lights of jazz share space with leading lights of electronica, such as Carl Craig, DJ Rob Swift, A Guy Called Gerald, and Imani Uzuri. Thanks to Laswell’s seamless production, it all hangs together. Two high-profile collaborations stand out: "The Essence," featuring Chaka Khan on vocals, and "Tony Williams," featuring the late drummer. (Sampled? Live, pre-1997? We’re not told in the advance press materials.)
Track Listing: 1. Wisdom 2. Kebero Part I 3. The Essence 4. This Is Rob Swift 5. Black Gravity 6. Tony Williams 7. Ionosphere 8. Alphabeta 9. Be Still 10. Virtual Hornets 11. Kebero Part II
Personnel: Herbie Hancock, all keyboards; Wayne Shorter, tenor and soprano saxophones; Bill Laswell, electric bass; Charnett Moffett, acoustic bass; Jack DeJohnette, drums (4, 8, 9, 10); Tony Williams, drums (6); Karsh Kale, drums (3, 7); guest artists: Elenni Davis-Knight, Carl Craig, GiGi, Chaka Khan, DJ Rob Swift, A Guy Called Gerald, Dana Bryant, Imani Uzuri
I love jazz because it is both challenging and exhilarating, and the endeavor of improvisation is the highest form of art.
I met so many great musicians--including my two earliest heroes, Maynard Ferguson and Dizzy Gillespie--by attending concerts
and being willing to treat them with the respect they deserve.
The best show I ever attended was the Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman Song X concert at Cornell University.
The first jazz record I bought was an RCA compilation by Dizzy Gillespie.
My advice to new listeners is to not be afraid to listen to something because you're not familiar with the artists or the band or
the genre or anything - this is music that is best experienced through discovery.