Top positive review
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Huge, elegant, poised
on 2 June 2001
The players on Maiden Voyage are essentially those of the Miles Davis band - but how different from Miles' records it sounds and feels! In 1965, Herbie Hancock's leadership and vision were rapidly taking shape.
This album placed Hancock firmly in the company of the great jazz musicians. He had proved his mettle as an innovative and individual pianist on such excellent records as Wayne Shorter's Speak No Evil (Blue Note, 1964) and Miles' E.S.P. (Columbia, 1965), both recorded only months before. Now he led a group he knew intimately, and wrote enduring pieces for the date that were to become admired for decades to come.
The title track sets the tone for the whole record: subtle, measured, contemplative. It's the first solo opportunity for the perpetually underrated George Coleman, who displays virtuosity without arrogance, elegance without contrivance, depth of feeling without sentimentality.
Impeccably orchestrated pieces like "Little One" and the closing "Dolphin Dance" establish Herbie Hancock as the complete musician: inimitable pianist, creative composer, charismatic leader, supreme stylist.