5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Mwandishi (Audio CD)Herbie Hancock did an awful lot of listening when he was working with Miles Davis. Prior to joining him he was a post-bop pianist with a steadily emerging voice of his own, but by the time he left he was ready to take on the world.
'Mwandishi' isn't so much an album as it is a manifesto setting out the case for a form of jazz-rock fusion not reliant upon facile but ultimately empty virtuosity. To catch an earful of `Ostinato (Suite for Angela)' is to learn this in a big way. The very momentum of the music is a collective effort. On bass clarinet Bennie Maupin is the supreme colourist, while Hancock coaxes something out of an electric piano which couldn't be further from cocktail lounge tinkling.
`You'll Know When You Get There' is by contrast quite pastoral. This time trombonist Julian Priester's the colourist before Eddie Henderson on trumpet proves it's possible to do that desolate, wandering spirit thing that Davis had down without sounding like the man himself. Bassist Buster Williams deserves credit too for making so much of broken time and rhythmic suspensions.
The whole shouldn't work but it does, and to the extent that this is one of the most rewarding albums from fusion's late 1960s / early 1970s heyday.