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The Prisoner Original recording remastered, Extra tracks

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (16 Oct. 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Extra tracks
  • Label: Blue Note
  • ASIN: B00004YTWJ
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 110,578 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

titolothe prisoner (rudy van gelder)artistaherbie hancock etichettablue noten. dischi1data16 ottobre 2000supportocd audiogenerejazz----brani1.i have a dreamascolta2.the prisonerascolta3.firewaterascolta4.he who lives in fearascolta5.promise of the sunascolta6.the prisoner (alternate take)ascolta7.firewater (alternate take)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Wow! What an overlooked gem of a record!
Easily one of Herbie's best.
Fantastic arrangements and solo playing, and wonderful sound all-round.
If you like Herbie's Blue Note stuff get this after Maiden Voyage and Empyrean Isles.
If you like his Warner's stuff you should like this too - no electrics and swings rather than funks/pulses - but lots of space and freedom.
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Format: Audio CD
Hancock is now jazz royalty of course, and this is thanks in no small part to the role he played in the `second great' Miles Davis quintet, the template of which still holds young musicians unhealthily spellbound all these years later. While not wishing to denigrate either that band or Hancock, concentrating on the latter at the expense of this set does no-one any favours.

Recorded in 1969, surely a year in which the writing was on the wall for small group acoustic jazz if ever any year was, this set is alive with colours in a way that only someone of Hancock's abilities could conceive. Not for him any of the funky delights that would have been a hallmark of any contemporary Horace Silver small group. Instead there's a pervasive atmosphere which falls into place on the opening "I Have a Dream" (thanks in no small part to Joe Farrell's alto flute and tenor sax contributions) and which differs only by degrees until the music is through.

That's not however to suggest that this is a programme of one-dimensional music. "Firewater" -incidentally the only piece not written by Hancock- is a little more up tempo and thus brighter. Drummer Albert `Tootie' Heath keeps the pots on, while Johnny Coles on flugelhorn shows why he deserves far more posthumous recognition than he ever received in his lifetime.

There's a paradoxical hint of darkness in "Promise of the Sun", an impression aided in no small part by those colours Hancock is obviously so adept at coaxing out of an augmented ensemble.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars 12 reviews
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars classic 24 Dec. 2009
By Bill Your 'Free Form FM Print DJ - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is my beloved Herbie right after he left Miles and right before becoming an herb in the fussion stew. This is probably the most dense music he ever made--all those years at Blue Note and he never used horns with this thickness.

Nothing really stands out in the band, but that is the point. The music on Prisonor is about layers and layers of clouds. The horns and the panio mesh completely, and you really have to listen, many times. Over these listens, the Prisonor penatrates.

This is also Herbie's darkest. Martan Luther King had just been killed, and no one had the race tiger by the tail. Things were getting increasing militant--understandably so.

It was pretty dark out there in 1969, and the music here personifies this.

After this, Herbie moved to the jubulant funk of Fat Albert Rotunda. As if to prove even potential insurrection would not keep this happy master worried for too long.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 3 Jan. 2015
By Kindle Customer - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars jazzman 10 Aug. 2011
By James K. Stewart - Published on
Format: Audio CD
From 1969, Herbie's final recording for Blue Note, and what a haunting masterpiece it is, PERFECTLY capturing the turbulence,
combustible energy, and moods that permeated the events and atmosphere that closed out the 1960's. I, too, was there and
went through it like so many others. This recording is a brilliant SOUNDTRACK of those times. In addition to using his working
sextet at that time (with trumpet, tenor sax, and trombone in the horn section), Hancock adds three more (bass trombone,
bass clarinet, and flute) to create a nonet for "The Prisoner" recording. This particular three-horn ensemble had its roots on
Herbie's classic 1968 Blue Note album "Speak Like A Child", which utilized flugelhorn, bass trombone, and alto flute that show
Gil Evans' influence & Herbie's alliance to his superlative orchestral style & arranging. The same sextet that performs on "The
Prisoner" (Joe Henderson on tenor sax, alto flute, Johnny Coles on flugelhorn, Garnett Brown on trombone, Buster Williams on
bass, Albert "Tootie" Heath on drums, & Herbie on piano, electric piano) also made Herbie's most commercial album until then
(later in 1969), "Fat Albert Rotunda", for Warner Bros. Records. The first track on "The Prisoner" is the magnificent, "I Have A
Dream", Hancock's poignant, heartfelt tribute to the late Dr. Martin Luther King, which features marvelous, extended solo's &
work from Coles and Henderson, along with Hancock, himself, on the longest track on the session at almost eleven minutes. I
particularly love how the legendary Rudy Van Gelder recorded the haunting echo of not only the horn ensemble, but also the
soloists on their extended performances. This is simply gorgeous writing by Herbie. I remember the first time I heard "I Have A
Dream", and how it stirred so many evocative images/feelings that reminded me of those times from the 1960's. In particular,
for me, this is my favorite Henderson solo on record - absolutely STUNNING. The title track, "The Prisoner", is featured on an
additional, shorter alternate take, and like "I Have A Dream", evokes powerful themes and images dealing with the struggles &
challenges of African-Americans and the Civil Rights movement so prevalent in the 60's. Joe Henderson, once again, is great
in his soloing here, with very intense, emotional playing expressing the deep problems involved in the long term imprisonment
and struggles of black people; hence, "The Prisoner". "Firewater", from bassist Buster Williams, is the only chart on the album
not written by Hancock, and suggests the social dichotomy of the oppressor and the oppressed. According to the liner notes,
"the fire and water idea symbolizes, for Hancock, the feeling of fire in violence and power play and the feeling of water in Dr.
King." Great solos and work once again from not only Henderson and Coles, but also trombonist Garnett Brown. A second and
longer alternate take of "Firewater" also appears on the cd. "He Who Lives In Fear" finds Hancock using electric piano (as well
as on the title track), and was ORIGINALLY composed for a Silva Thins cigarette commercial, but was re-shaped, re-titled, &
re-created into a totally new piece with a different melody, as well as harmonic structure. The new title is in reference to Dr.
King having to live in the constant danger and turmoil that defined the 1960's, and his challenges with this. The final number,
"Promise Of The Sun", again features fabulous ensemble work from Hancock's group, and represents the sun's promise of life
and freedom for ALL living beings, an optimistic hope for sure, yet one which a great many people do not ever experience. In
addition to the previously mentioned players, the stellar flute master Hubert Laws also plays on several cuts of "The Prisoner"
with important contributions. Produced by pianist Duke Pearson, "The Prisoner" is an extraordinary, contemporary achievement
by Hancock that perfectly expresses the plight and feeling of the modern, urban dilemma in our society, even today. Beautifully
recorded by Rudy Van Gelder, it's a timeless work of art. Concerning "The Prisoner", in 1969, Herbie stated, "Generally speaking,
I've been able to get closer to the real me with this album than on any other previous one." Hancock's next sextet after "The
Prisoner" lineup would take a FAR different direction in 1970, with his mind-blowing "Mwandishi" group in outer space, keeping
only Buster Williams, and replacing all others with Bennie Maupin on reeds & flute, Dr. Eddie Henderson on trumpet & flugelhorn,
Julian Priester on trombone, and Billy Hart on drums. 50 billion stars for "The Prisoner".
7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "The Prisoner" Finally Released 22 Oct. 2000
By Michael Brad Richman - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Herbie Hancock's "The Prisoner" has been locked up for more than ten years. It was first released on CD in the late 80s only to be deleted a few years later. Then it was paroled in the mid-90s, but only available in limited numbers through the Collector's Choice program. At long last, justice has been served, and "The Prisoner" has been pardoned by Governor Rudy Van Gelder. While I am glad it has been made available (I wish everything could be in print), I have always found "The Prisoner" do be a disappointing, lackluster effort. Here Hancock builds on the larger group stylings of "Speak Like A Child," and employs a band that includes the wonderful, underrated trumpeter Johnny Coles. But the sound is more commercial than any of Hancock's other six Blue Note albums. Of course, Hancock would continue to produce financially successful mainstream jazz, most notably with "Headhunters," but the music is much more realized and enjoyable than it is on this transitional session. Personally, I would give this disc only three stars, but I know there are people out there who will enjoy this title, so I'll give it four stars to avoid any unnecessary confrontations. But I think it boils down to this, if your favorite Hancock CDs are the inventive and exploratory "Empyrean Isles" and "Maiden Voyage," then you may want to pass on this disc. But if you love the Complete Warner Brothers recordings or Herbie's 70s material, "The Prisoner" is yours.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Gem 5 May 2003
By A. Stan Davis - Published on
Format: Audio CD
"The Prisoner" has got to be the most overlooked recording in Herbie Hancock's catalog. This gem is blessed with great music and some intense solos - especially from saxophonist Joe Henderson and trombonist Garnett Brown. I love the way the bass clarinets and trombones make this music float and swing without getting too heavy. Buster Williams (Bass) and Albert Heath (Drums) provide the perfect rhythm section for Herbie to dance and dazzle while Hubert laws and Jerome Richardson provide some colorful Flute to give these compositions added beauty. As a group, this band is tight and on the mark. Beautiful compositions plus intense group chemistry equals five stars for this well polished recording. Check it out!!!
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