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ZZ Top
Artist: Herbie Hancock
Label: Blue Note Records
Genre: Jazz
Release: Mar 1999   My Rating: 0
Duration: 53:46
Summary: Pianist and composer Herbie Hancock has had a long and varied career, during which he's enjoyed both creative and commercial success, though seldom at the same time. For many listeners, his creative peak came early, on two stunning Blue Note recordings, "Maiden Voyage" and the less celebrated "Empyrean Isles". Recorded in 1964, "Empyrean Isles" is the earlier of the two and also the most radical. Hancock's quartet features Freddie Hubbard substituting a cornet for his usual trumpet, and getting a more burnished, slightly warmer sound. Without the jazz-typical saxophone present, Hancock's is almost a naked band, and the single horn blurs the lines between the pianist's mood-rich compositions and improvisation. The group uses the increased sense of space for intense collective creation, with Hancock and drummer Tony Williams pressing far beyond their instruments' usual roles and engaging Hubbard in edgy, complex dialogue, while bassist Ron Carter anchors the performances. Hubbard rises to the occasion with brilliance, responding to the stimulus with a fluency of thought and execution--a daring that built on his avant-garde experience with musicians like John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, and Eric Dolphy. From the breezy "Oliloqui Valley" to the funky "Cantaloupe Island" and on to the dissonance of the extended "Egg," this is one of the most significant documents of the Blue Note style that emerged in the mid-'60s. It's music that tests the balance of control and risk, and Hubbard's is also one of the great performances by a trumpeter in modern jazz. "--Stuart Broomer"


Artist: Herbie Hancock
Label: Sony
Genre: Jazz
Release: Jan 1973   My Rating: 0
Duration: 41:36
Summary: Keyboardist Herbie Hancock's remarkable career took a surprising turn with this funk album--one of the first jazz albums to be certified gold. Hancock's already-storied career had included an extended tenure with Miles Davis as a member of both the classic quintet of the '60s and the trumpeter's groundbreaking electric dates. As a leader, the pianist had followed a similar course, cutting both outstanding acoustic dates ("Maiden Voyage", "Empyrean Isles") and experimental electric sessions ("Sextant", "Crossings").
"Head Hunters", however, was something different: a stripped-down date featuring reedman Bennie Maupin as the only horn player, and a funk-oriented rhythm section made up of Paul Jackson, Harvey Mason, and Bill Summers. Hancock traded in his sophisticated piano performances and complex compositions for simple melodies, slow-burn funk grooves, and light electric keyboard splashes. The results, particularly on the tracks "Chameleon" and "Watermelon Man," had a profound impact on other musicians, although critics charged Hancock with playing to the galleries. But the album has stood the test of time--something neither the wealth of Hancock's imitators nor his own subsequent albums in this vein have been able to do. "--Fred Goodman"



Artist: Herbie Hancock
Label: Blue Note Records
Genre: Jazz
Release: Jan 1963   My Rating: 0
Duration: 40:09
Summary: For his third album, Herbie Hancock chose a very rhythmic setting for his improvised compositions. Supported only by bassist Paul Chambers and percussionists Willie Bobo and Osvaldo Martinez, the pianist creates each tune from scratch and the results are astonishing. The alternate take of "Mimosa" has previously only been available as part of box set.
*bonus tracks, not part of the original LP
HERBIE HANCOCK, piano
PAUL CHAMBERS, bass
WILLIE BOBO, drums, timbales
OSVALDO "CHIHUAHUA" MARTINEZ, congas, bongos, guiro, finger cymbals



Artist: Herbie Hancock
Label: Sony
Genre: Jazz
Release: Jan 1976   My Rating: 0
Duration: 45:15
Summary: 1992 Digitally Remastered Edition of One of the Best Regarded of all the Keyboard Wizard's Solo Albums.


Artist: Herbie Hancock
Label: Sbme Import
Genre: Classic Rock
Release: May 1992   My Rating: 0
Duration: 39:56
Summary: Mostly overlooked album when it came out in 1980 featuring Ron Carter, Alphonse Mouzon & Jaco Pastorius. 6 great tracks of post-bop electro fusion. Sony.


Artist: Herbie Hancock
Label: Sony
Genre: Jazz+Funk
Release: Jan 1974   My Rating: 0
Duration: 38:49
Summary: Freshly remastered and reissued with all its pop and zip enhanced, here is one of the stellar recordings of the jazz-rock fusion era. Underpinning this jumping, multirhythmic, fathoms-deep groove music is the percussive power that Herbie Hancock, on squawking, scratching, stuttering, pulsing electronic keyboards, and Paul Jackson on thrumming, wah-wahing bass, add to Mike Clark's straight-up, rock-solid, propulsive drumming. From there, any band member can swoop and dive in celebration of Hancock's vibrant compositions. Bennie Maupin brilliantly deploys several horns in spare, soulful, and otherworldly ways. But listen carefully, too, for the broad palette Hancock employs in lead and comping roles. He augments the streak of Bill Evans melodicism evident in earlier, acoustic years with sustained funk fire and shuddering R&B drive. "--Peter Monaghan"