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StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: 50 years of Herbie Hancock


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This week, let's take a look at some videos featuring keyboardist Herbie Hancock, who will be back in St. Louis to perform in a concert presented by Jazz St Louis on Thursday, August 10 at Powell Hall.

Hancock has been at the forefront of jazz for more than half a century, first coming to wide public attention in the mid-1960s as a member of Miles Davis' “Second Great Quintet." Striking out on his own at the turn of the 1970s, Hancock has managed to have considerable commercial success- most notably with his 1973 album HeadHunters, which remains one of the best-selling jazz albums of all time- while keeping his artistic credibility.

Today, StLJN celebrates Hancock's musical legacy with videos of his performances spanning more than 50 years and including some of his most popular tunes. The first clip up top is from Hancock's time with Miles Davis, and shows a performance of Davis' “All Blues" recorded October 11, 1964 at the Teatro dell'Arte in Milan, Italy. Along with Davis and Hancock, that's Wayne Shorter on tenor sax, Ron Carter on bass, and Tony Williams on drums.

After the jump, you can see “You'll Know When You Get There," recorded in 1971 in Molde, Norway by the ensemble commonly known as the “Mwandishi" band (after Hancock's album of the same name from that year), with Eddie Henderson (trumpet), Julian Priester (trombone), Bennie Maupin (soprano sax, flute, bass clarinet), Buster Williams (bass), and Billy Hart (drums).

Next, it's a full set of the Headhunters, performing their eponymous album in November 1974 at Musikladen in Bremen, Germany, with Hancock, Maupin, Paul Jackson (electric bass), Bill Summers (percussion) and Mike Clark (drums).

The fourth clip features a 1988 performance of one of Hancock's most famous compositions, “Maiden Voyage," recorded in Hamburg, Germany with Hancock, Buster Williams, Al Foster on drums, and on alto sax, St. Louis' own Greg Osby.

The penultimate video is a version of “Hang Up Your Hang Ups" recorded in 2005 in Tokyo by the all-star version of the Headhunters that toured on a limited basis that year, with Terri Lyne Carrington on drums, Roy Hargrove on trumpet, Kenny Garrett on alto sax, Lionel Loueke and Wah Wah Waton on guitars, Marcus Miller on bass, and Munyungo Jackson on percussion.

Finally, you can check out a clip of Hancock's longtime concert staple “Actual Proof" recorded just three weeks ago at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, with his current touring band, featuring Loueke on guitar, James Genus on bass, Vinnie Colaiuta on drums, and rising star Terrace Martin on saxophone and additional keyboards.

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This story appears courtesy of St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman.
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