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Power to the People

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Product details

  • Audio CD (4 Feb. 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universe
  • ASIN: B00005A8L2
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 999,673 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By William Burn VINE VOICE on 24 Feb. 2007
Format: Audio CD
The impulse to draw comparisons between this album and those released by Miles Davis in the late sixties is understandable, given that the piano/bass team of Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter spent several years in Miles' "second quintet", and Jack DeJohnette played on other Miles discs at the time. However, while the music learns much from the advances made by Miles' groups in the sixties, it retains very much its own distinctive flavour, and goes in a direction that Miles never really took his music.

By 1969 Miles had already recorded Bitches Brew and In a Silent Way and was exploring the new possibilities of those remarkable albums. Henderson, however, sticks more closely to the traditional "jazz" structure of music making, despite employing electric bass and electric piano on some of the tracks. The effect of this is to produce an album that is at turns beautiful and at others powerful, yet perhaps more direct and forthright than Miles' work at the time.

Henderson has always been one of my favourite saxophonists, and I find his playing easier to enjoy than that of Coltrane or many of his contemporaries. This is not to say he is saccharine or anaemic, but that his ideas are more finely distilled and each is given its own space to breath and develop. He can be wonderfully patient, such as in his solo on the opening track, Black Narcissus, or earthy and bluesy, as on Isotope. Technically his facilities are extraordinary, but I have never found myself lost in a whirlwind of notes nor squawked at by some militant horn-man with a point to prove.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By hj on 15 Dec. 2005
Format: Audio CD
Recorded in New York May 1969, it would be interesting to date this album exactly in relation to Miles’ “Silent Way” sessions. It sounds like the band (Herbie Hancock-keyboards, Jack De Johnette-drums, Ron Carter-bass) have arrived at the studio high & flying with Miles’ “new directions.” Hancock gets into some serious tranced-out shimmering electric piano & Carter plays electric bass on most tracks. But post-bop heavyweight Joe Henderson on sax is both receptive to what’s happening yet strong enough to establish his own personality on the proceedings, several jazz trends – post-bop, soul jazz, avant garde & the new fusion thing – combine here into a fascinating mix. Little known trumpeter Mike Lawrence adds some nice touches to a couple of tracks.
With titles like Power to the People, Black Narcissus & Afro-Centric it’s pretty obvious that this album is quintessential 1969, belonging to that radical moment when everything was possible and before the fusion jazz-rock/funk concept became debased.
Given the huge interest in this period & style it’s surprising “Power to the People” (originally on Milestone/Fantasy) hasn’t been given a big hyped expanded upgrade reissue. Most of the tracks are around the six-minute mark & fade out – there must be a lot of extended & unreleased takes lying on a shelf somewhere. I’d certainly like to hear 20 minute versions of some of these tunes!
This reissue comes from Italian Comet / Universe label, the sound is ok & nice facsimile thick card gatefold sleeve. Definitely recommended if you like Miles Davis 69-70.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
A Milestone Event 28 April 2003
By Stephen Silberman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This album is simply one of the greatest 50 jazz albums of all time. The fact that it is not in print in the USA is astounding, but thank goodness for this high-quality reissue.
Fans of Miles Davis' "In A Silent Way" and other works of early fusion -- particularly Miroslav Vitous' "Infinite Search," another recently reissued rarity -- should put this on their must-buy list. It's Herbie Hancock at the very peak of his Fender Rhodes period, when he was playing like Bill Evans on an electric instrument; Henderson himself is in top form; and the tunes range from the absolutely exquisite, yearning "Black Narcissus" (reminiscent of a golden-age Wayne Shorter composition) to the hard-charging title track, which is funky without straying into post-"Headhunters" wank-ola.
Soon after this album was released, "fusion" per se descended into more and more simplistic, synth-driven hackdom that seemed to forsake all the melodic subtlety of jazz for the pursuit of the groove and rock-music excitement. "Power to the People" stands alongside Miles' best work of the period as a milestone of a true fusion of the best of acoustic jazz with the added power and drive that electric instruments offered.
I once asked drummer Brian Blade what he'd been listening to lately. "'Black Narcissus,' over and over again," he replied. I knew just what he meant.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
reissued gem from 1969 2 April 2001
By rbt_austin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Joe Henderson, Tenor Sax; Herbie Hancock, Piano/Electric Piano; Ron Carter, Bass/Electric Bass; Jack DeJohnette, Drums; Mike Lawrence, Trumpet on a few tracks. The line-up alone should get alot of people's attention. The total time is about 43 minutes... and the music on this disc is out of this world... Isotope, Power To The People, Black Narcissus, Opus One-Point-Five, and more... this reissue from Comet Records (?) under the Fantasy Jazz aegis is highly recommended. All-stars at their best, which any fan of Joe, Herbie, Ron, and/or Jack must get in their collection.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
If You Liked In a Silent Way 9 April 2007
By directions - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Okay first of all forget the title. This is not a revolutionary free jazz diatrebe. What you get though (and nicely remastered with intelligent liner notes) is a classic fusion album along the vein of "In a Silent Way". This actually is closer to a Herbie Hancock album and has much of the same players as "The Prisoner", his album for that year which was rather uneven. However, "Power to the People" does not have those flaws. Nice ambient jazz work that still remains within a post bop tradition. Electric keyboards are used but piano also enters the mix. With Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Jack De Johnette, all Miles alumni you have a good thing going here and unlike much jazz fusion at the time or later on its not a bunch of flashy chops that is basically watered down rock trying to pass for jazz. Okay this is no "B-Brew" or "On the Corner" but as fusion it succeeds. Joe Henderson would later get into full blown fusion that was closer to jazz funk and then jump back to hard bop but "Power to the People" and the acoustic hard bop albums that preceeded it by Joe Henderson are part of the essential jazz roster.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Vintage Joe Henderson! 10 Dec. 2012
By Amoye Neblett - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Joe Henderson was an outstanding saxophonist that was overshadowed by Coltrane and Rollins but nevertheless an important contributor to jazz. On this album his compositional skills are on display and a few of these tunes have become standards in the jazz repertoire. Joe had a unique style and a fresh approach to improvisation. The supporting cast couldn't be better. This is a great album!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Outstanding Late 60's Fusion Date 2 Aug. 2005
By Mike - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
As you can imagine from the personnel listing, this record is similar to many others released in the late 60's and early 70's on the CTI label. It's Freddie Hubbard's "First Light" band, and they're terrific.

For people wondering who in the world trumpeter/flugelhornist Mike Lawrence is, I'm pretty sure it's Kenny Wheeler under a pseudonym. Seriously though, if this isn't Kenny Wheeler playing trumpet on this record, then some kind of voodoo is at work. It's uncanny.

Great record, though.
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