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The Essential Herbie - An essential purchase
on 25 April 2009
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.