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The Essential Herbie Hancock [CD]

Herbie Hancock Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 7.80 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Herbie Hancock "The Imagine Project" Video


Herbie Hancock is a true icon of modern music. Throughout his explorations, he has transcended limitations and genres while maintaining his unmistakable voice. With an illustrious career spanning five decades and 12 Grammy® Awards including the 2007 Album Of The Year for ‘River: The Joni Letters’, he continues to amaze audiences.

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Product details

  • Audio CD (18 July 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Sony CMG
  • ASIN: B0054RVT4K
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,194 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Watermelon Man
2. 'Round Midnight
3. Cantaloupe Island
4. Maiden Voyage
5. Circle
6. The Sorcerer
7. Tell Me A Bedtime Story
8. Hidden Shadows (Instrumental)
9. Chameleon
10. Joanna's Theme
Disc: 2
1. Butterfly
2. People Music
3. Milestones
4. 4 A.M.
5. Come Running To Me
6. Finger Painting
7. Stars In Your Eyes
8. Rockit
9. St. Louis Blues
10. Manhattan

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Essential Herbie - An essential purchase 25 April 2009
By J. D. Naylor TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
Probably the best value for money Herbie Hancock career retrospective on the market.It covers his early work on the Blue Note label including the classic "Cantaloupe island" and the sublime "Maiden voyage", then moves on to the more adventurous "Circle" and "The Sorcerer" which he recorded with Miles Davis's second classic quintet.The Hancock story then moves on to early funky fusion with "Tell me a bedtime story" from the "Fat Albert Rotunda" album.An interesting but valued inclusion is "Hidden Shadows" from the Sextant album which saw Herbie in one of his most creative phases whilst experimenting with elctronica and synths etc as well as acoustic instruments.The disc is rounded out with classic "Chameleon" which was to shape Hancock's career and send him towards the pop-charts,commercial success,and a few quid in the bank as well !
The second disc is probably of lesser interest to jazz fans and covers some fairly commercial straight ahead jazz funk which,of course includes the classic "Rockit" which,i believe,was the first big chart hit to include the newly developed art of scratching(leave me a note on the comments page if i'm wrong).The second disc is rounded out with "St Louis blues" including Stevie Wonder on vocals and "Manhattan" which sees him complete the full circle back to acoustic music with a lovely solo piano piece.
In my opinion Herbie Hancock is one of the most influential and interesting characters in modern music.This album serves as a testement to how one individual can make so much great music,whilst in the process, seamlessly move from one genre and style to another without copying or mimicking those that have gone before him.
A true musical legend.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars master composer 21 April 2012
Format:MP3 Download|Verified Purchase
What else can I say about Mr Hancock! For so long he has been defining and re-defining music and to lay my hands on an album that captured that journey and style, lovely!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great 12 Feb 2013
By pasty
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
everything I expected. enjoyed listening to it. would recommend it to other Herbie Hancock fans.
Listen for yourself and see what you think
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Herbie 2 Feb 2007
By Brian Gilmore - Published on
Format:Audio CD
No other artist in the last 45 years of jazz has remained on the cutting edge of the music like pianist and keyboardist Herbie Hancock: a musician with passion, an open mind and an awareness of history that constantly propels him forward into new sonic territory.

After listening to the first few songs on The Essential Herbie Hancock, you'll understand this intimately. Both Hancock's 1962 hit "Watermelon Man" and his 1964 gem "Cantaloupe Island," which quietly made a strong contribution to hip-hop music in the 1990s (the group Us3 sampled Hancock's track for their hit "Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)") are included in the collection. You'll also hear 1965's "Maiden Voyage," another mainstay on jazz radio for decades now, and a powerful version of "'Round Midnight" by Sonny Rollins where Hancock cleverly backs the saxophonist. Following these four monster recordings, the lineup for the next tune "Circle" is Hancock on keys, Miles Davis on trumpet, Wayne Shorter on tenor sax, Tony Williams on drums and Ron Carter on bass. Together, they seem to be saying everything "My Funny Valentine" ever said only in a modern and more expressive way.

A very well put-together release, The Essential Herbie Hancock includes recordings from an assortment of labels where Hancock recorded, including Blue Note, Verve and RCA. Some of the songs are largely forgotten, but this album re-introduces them to the listener, not forgetting any period of Hancock's growth and development. "Butterfly," an electronic dirge from Hancock's 1974 album Thrust, is here and is as powerful as ever, as is "Chameleon," Hancock's 1973 funk anthem.

But it is the lesser-known tunes that make The Essential Herbie Hancock a complete statement. "Hidden Shadows," a Hancock composition from 1973, is one such moment: more than 10 minutes of complete control, power and improvisational perfection where Hancock creates a wall of sound using keyboards, electronic effects and, most importantly, his heart and soul.

The last three recordings of this album bring Hancock's career and this compilation full circle. His 1983 club hit "Rockit," where Hancock anticipates a hip-hop future and battles hip-hop DJ Grandmaster D.S.T. with boldness and fun is followed by a little known version of "St. Louis Blues" with Hancock leading Stevie Wonder on vocals and harp. There are few arrangements of "St. Louis Blues" that are this inventive.

Of course, the final song here is "Manhattan," from his album The New Standard, another moment in Hancock's career where he challenged the status quo of jazz. Appropriately, on "Manhattan," it is Hancock on piano, all alone for a few moments and without need for any assistance--because as always, Herbie Hancock knows exactly what he wants to say.

-Brian Gilmore (as it originally appeared in Jazz Times Magazine)
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Tasty Aperitif 24 May 2006
By Jim Newsom - Published on
Format:Audio CD
There's no way to summarize Herbie Hancock's four and a half decades as a recording artist in two discs. Nonetheless, this is a valid overview for those who have only dipped occasionally into his thick catalog. Because Herbie has dabbled in and helped to invent so many different facets of the jazz spectrum, the song-to-song segues can be jolting. But every one of the twenty tracks chosen for this compilation is worthwhile: from the original "Watermelon Man" through the modal "Maiden Voyage," the space-age "Hidden Shadows," the jazz-funk masterpiece "Chameleon" and the Stevie Wonder-ful "St. Louis Blues." One can quibble with what's left off--I'd love to have a chance to assemble my own version of the "essential Herbie"--but even the lesser known latter-day material is interesting and invigorating. To really get to this man's essence, you need whole albums from the various phases of his career, but for a quick aperitif, this is very tasty.

Originally published in Port Folio Weekly, 5/23/06

Copyright 2006 Port Folio Weekly. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What the waiter at the Herbie Hancock Restaurant said... 25 May 2008
By Eric C. Sedensky - Published on
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
"Good evening. Welcome to the HH restaurant. We have a number of special and regular menu items I'd like to tell you about. This evening we'll be starting you off with the Watermelon Man and Cantaloupe Island, two of our chef's most famous hits, after which I'd like to recommend the Maiden Voyage and The Sorcerer, where the chef branches out into some exploration of chords that before these dishes were invented, really had never been heard before. If you prefer some of the chef's more recent dishes, we have 4 A.M., a nice Manhattan, and of course the always dynamic People Music. If you prefer to experience the chef's skills and enjoy some more standard dishes, we have Milestones, Circle, `Round Midnight, and of course, St. Louis Blues. For dessert, we always recommend the Chameleon, which will take you at least 15 minutes to finish. If none of these are what you are looking for, there are several other selections available. I'll be back to take your order shortly."

Seriously, if you are looking for a sampling of Herbie's work because you just don't know where to start, this is probably a good choice for you, covering almost 40 years of Hancock's career. Keep in mind, though, that is twenty songs over a forty year period of a composer and performer who has been pulling jazz along behind for that entire time, so the treatment will be necessarily shallow. I still recommend this for finding one's likes and dislikes (very few people like ALL of Hancock's work; he got pretty esoteric there, along with Chick Corea, in the early days of synthesizers), and eventually, you'll want to pick up individual albums containing the songs you really like. For the casual listener and non-fan, however, this compilation offers a broad and satisfying sampling of a lot of different Herbie Hancock dishes. Bon appetit!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Collection 14 Oct 2007
By mistermaxxx08 - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Herbie Hancock is a Musician who has left a strong and lasting mark on Jazz, R&B,Pop and other forms of Music. He is a versatile Piano, Synth,etc.. etc... Musician who covers such a wide range of styles and yet you know his signature touch. ROund Midnight, Tell me a Bedtime story which still just relaxes me. all the way through the Hip-Hop vibe of "Rockit". I mean the Brother covers Funk, Rock, Jazz,Pop and everything else in between and this double disc set takes you on a incredible journey with a Musician who never has had any boundarys. His embracment of modern technilogy and sound speaks volumes. this is a Great place to start with exploring the Musical journey of Herbie Hancock.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hancock: the man and the legend! 24 Oct 2008
By Hiram Gomez Pardo - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Versatility is the most functional word to describe this living legend. Hancock (1940) is one of these emblematic artists of the jazz who has known to forge himself with untiring vocation to create an own sound, always learning from the greatest (Miles Davis, neither more nor less, Hubert Laws and Dexter Gordon, among others not least remarkable). With his first successful composition( he was in his 22) "Watermelon man", catapulted for Mongo Santamaria in 1963, Hancock established himself as a heavy weight composer and original interpreter in a decade of true giants (Davis, Montgomery, Peterson, Armstrong, Webster, Mulligan, Evans, Getz, Coltrane).

Personally I had the chance to watch in Los Angeles in 1978 for mere casualty, and the impression was indescribable. His kaleidoscopic repertoire, his fervent passion and ceaseless commitment carved in relief he was a star that really shone far beyond his LP records by then.

Since those days I have always been near of his releases and he never has disappointed me. Today when this artist is in his 68, it is always pertinent to remind him, specially in those ages of fashionable vapidness where the constancy and demanded inspiration doesn't seem to be among the priorities of many protagonists of the genre.

Leonard Feather, author of "The Encyclopaedia of Jazz in the 60`s" affirmed. "Among the many musicians I have talked to who I have gigged and recorded with Herbie Hancock, I have never found one who has failed to pay tribute to his warmth as a person, his ongoing maturity and continued desire for growth as composer pianist and leader. The evidence of that growth is in your hands and ready for your ears, it will stand for all time as proof that Herbie Hancock was among the handful of true jazz giants to emerge during the turbulent, productive decade of the 1960's."
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