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World of Rhythm

C. Michael Bailey By

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Straight up, this is a very fine recital. Almost twenty years old to the day, World of Rhythm records the fabulously telepathic piano trio of Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, and Billy Cobham. Comparing this recording with two recently released Keith Jarrett videos (Standards and Standards II), World of Rhythm wins hands down.

The decade of the '80s is not a time I would associate with the traditional jazz piano trio. But here that trio is as practiced by three potently strong musical personalities. Herbie Hancock eschews his electronic trappings for this simple presentation of several of his best-known compositions. "Speak Like a Child," "Little Waltz," "Dolphin Dance," and "Eye of the Hurricane" all reveal their inner charm in this intimate setting.

All three principles have solo shots. Ron Carter offers a polyphonic treatment of "Willow Weep for Me" that is at once stunning and warm. Hancock provides us with his own "Dolphin Dance," his talent almost palpable. That earthquake otherwise known as Billy Cobham chimes in with "Ili's Treasure." It is perhaps Cobham who captures most of the attention here. Long well known for his contributions to Fusion and other electric jazz, Cobham proves that he is perfectly at home in the close quarters of the acoustic trio. Known long for his BIG sound, he plays with a well-cultivated grace and light touch.

As a unit, the trio played seamless, pristine Post Bop jazz. Perfectly tasteful and disciplined, the hour and one half performance went by too quickly leaving this writer wanting more. The video includes informative biographies of the musicians, increasing the value of World of Rhythm as a musical document.

Toys; First Trip; Speak Like a Child; Little Waltz; Willow Weep for Me; Dolphin Dance; Ili's Treasure; Princess; Eye of the Hurricane; Walking. (Total Time: 90:14).

Herbie Hancock: piano; Ron Carter: Bass; Billy Cobham: Drums.

2002' TDK Recording Media Europe SA

Filmed live at Palazzo del Congressi, Lugano, Italy, January 26, 1983

TDK Mediactive

Director: Stanley Dorfman

Video Aspect Ratio: 4:3

Region Code: NTSC (All)

Disc Format: DVD-9

Sound Track: Stereo Digital 5.1

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