The Essential Herbie Hancock [Columbia/Legacy]

The Essential Herbie Hancock [Columbia/Legacy]

by Herbie HancockHerbie Hancock


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Calling a two-disc retrospective of the varied and celebrated career of Herbie Hancock "essential" is a tall order to fill. Sony/BMG's Legacy does, as would be expected, an incomplete but decent job at offering a fine representative look at the artist, and at choosing best-known cuts to do so. This set is admirably cross-licensed by producer Bob Belden, who also wrote the great liner notes. Disc one is a journey in and of itself and offers a fine portrait not only of Hancock's changes as a musician, but also the changes in jazz brewing at the time. It begins with "Watermelon Man" from Takin' Off, Hancock's first Blue Note recording in 1962, and follows curiously enough with a fine reading of "'Round Midnight" off Sonny Rollins' Now's the Time offering for RCA in 1964. You get "Cantaloupe Island" and the title track from Maiden Voyage before Hancock's Columbia recordings as a member of the Miles Davis Quintet in 1966 begin. The two quintet cuts are "Circle" and "Sorcerer." There is no electric Miles-era material found here. This compilation follows the artist to Warner Brothers for "Tell Me a Bedtime Story" off Fat Albert's Rotunda (the serial music for Bill Cosby's groovy kids cartoon show), and then moves into the solo material with "Hidden Shadows" from Sextant and "Chameleon" from Head Hunters. The disc ends with "Joanna's Theme," from the soundtrack to the film Death Wish. When one considers what's been covered so far, the journey is actually amazing. Platter two continues with more fusion tracks, from Thrust, and a couple from the undervalued Mr. Hands issued in 1980, 1978's Sunlight, the truly awful Monster, and the innovative Future Shock (yes, it's "Rockit"; what else?). But there are also tracks from the many acoustic recordings he did for Columbia such as the Herbie Hancock Trio disc with Tony Williams and Ron Carter. Ditto material from V.S.O.P., the Gershwin's World outing, and of course the solo album New Standard in 1995. Fans can argue all day about what should have been left out and what should have been included but wasn't, but what does matter is how the wild twists and turns in Hancock's career have showcased him to be a chameleon as well as an innovator. While one may wish to place Maiden Voyage or Head Hunters in a newbie's hands, this serves as an undeniably well-rounded historical introduction.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/28/2006
Label: Sony
UPC: 0827969459324
catalogNumber: 94593
Rank: 2796

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Herbie Hancock   Primary Artist,Synthesizer,Piano,Keyboards,Hammond Organ,Electric Piano,Vocals,Background Vocals,Hand Clapping,Vocoder,fender rhodes,oberheim,Mini Moog,Arp Pro Soloist,Arp 2600,Arp Odyssey,Arp Strings,Fairlight CMI,Micro Moog,Clavitar
Daniel Ponce   Bata
Terri Lyne Carrington   Drums
Ron Carter   Bass,Upright Bass
George Coleman   Tenor Saxophone
Johnny Coles   Flugelhorn
Miles Davis   Trumpet
Dexter Gordon   Tenor Saxophone
Billy Hart   Percussion,Drums
Joe Henderson   Flute,Tenor Saxophone
Billy Higgins   Drums
Thad Jones   Flugelhorn
Bill Laswell   Electric Bass,Bass Guitar
Bennie Maupin   Bass Clarinet,Alto Flute,Soprano Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Alphonse Mouzon   Drums,Keyboards
Jaco Pastorius   Electric Bass,Bass Guitar
Julian Priester   Trombone,Alto Trombone
Sonny Rollins   Tenor Saxophone
Wayne Shorter   Tenor Saxophone
Tony Williams   Drums
Eddie Henderson   Trumpet
Bill Summers   Percussion
Greg Walker   Vocals
Butch Warren   Bass
Alex Al   Bass
Michael Beinhorn   Electronic Drums,Mini Moog
Garnett Brown   Trombone
Mike Clarke   Drums
Sheila Escovedo   Percussion
Patrick Gleeson   Resonator
Grandmixer D.ST   Turntables
Albert "Tootie" Heath   Drums
Freddie Hubbard   Trumpet,Cornet
Paul Jackson   Electric Bass,Bass Guitar
James Levi   Drums
Roy McCurdy   Drums
Harvey Mason   Drums
Baba Duru Oshun   Tabla
Raul Rekow   Conga
Mickey Roker   Drums
Wah Wah Watson   Guitar
Buster Williams   Bass,Acoustic Bass
Stevie Wonder   Harmonica,Vocals
"Ready" Freddie Washington   Electric Bass
Jerry Dodgion   Alto Flute
Peter Phillips   Bass Trombone

Technical Credits

Bob Belden   Liner Notes
Miles Davis   Composer
Herbie Hancock   Composer,Programming,Echoplex,Rhythm Sequencing
Bennie Maupin   Composer
Duke Pearson   Producer
Cootie Williams   Composer
W.C. Handy   Composer
George Avakian   Producer
Michael Beinhorn   Dmx
Fred Catero   Engineer
Rob Eaton   Engineer
Rudy Van Gelder   Engineer
Ray Hall   Engineer
Paul Jackson   Composer
Frank Laico   Engineer
Alfred Lion   Producer
Teo Macero   Producer
Harvey Mason   Composer
Thelonious Monk   Composer
Jerry Peters   Orchestration
David Rubinson   Engineer
Jeremy Zatkin   Engineer
Bernie Hanighen   Composer
John Pace   Engineer
John Vieira   Engineer
G. Christopher   Composer
M. Davis   Composer
Tomas Suzuki   Engineer

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