10 Little-Known Maiden Voyages

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In January 1965, jazz pianist Herbie Hancock received a call from a Hollywood jingle agency. Its client, Yardley, needed background music for a TV commercial and wanted a trio playing something jazzy, since the men’s fragrance ad took place in a sophisticated club. But instead of writing straight-ahead jazz, Mr. Hancock arranged a catchy rhythmic line that was closer to rock.

In the weeks ahead, Mr. Hancock completed the assignment and then used the rhythmic chords as the bones for Maiden Voyage—the title song of what would be his most iconic album. Below is Hancock's original version released in 1965 followed by nine versions, many of which may be new to you:

Here's Herbie Hancock's original...



Here's Toto in 2002...



Here's Formerly of the Harlettes, Bette Midler's former backup vocal group, in 1977...



Here's Pucho and His Latin Soul Brothers in 1967...



Here's Bobby Hutcherson in 1966...



Here's Denny Zeitlin in 1966...



Here's Grant Green in 1970...



Here's Helen Merrill in 1977...



Here's the Third Wave arranged and conducted by George Duke in 1970...



And here's Ramsey Lewis with strings and voices in 1968...

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
Copyright © 2021. All rights reserved.

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