16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Great album, but it is surpassed by Hancock's later output,
By A Customer
This review is from: Takin' Off (Audio CD)
This R'n'B-influenced first album of Hancock's is great if you are the mood for some fairly laid back jazz. Bop fans will be let down by the fairly simple chord voicings and lack of substitutions by the soloists. However, this is brilliant if you want to trace Hancock's development towards Headhunters (a decade later); especially comparing Watermelon Man on both albums. It is also a real confidence booster for jazz composers who feel they need to write complex, thick-textured pieces but can't quite get the feel - dig this and you'll feel you can get there soon! The only problem with this CD version is that you get the bonus tracks - it kind of spoils the magic of the solos when you hear how close the two versions sound! But, this is not to the discredit of the amazing jazz artistes present for the set. To conclude, I'd get this CD if you want to hear the development of Hancock or if you want simple, earthy music with not overly flashy solos. Personally, though my money's on Headhunters!