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Herbie Hancock - Inventions And Dimensions [Aka: Succotash] CD (album) cover


Herbie Hancock

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars

Oh, frabjous day! I have an opportunity to review Herbie, finally!

At the very beginning: this record, in my opinion is not a masterpiece (it's a very good record, however), but something about it is astonishing (and that can be said about Herbie and his style in general, too).

It's sound and approach are so ahead of its time. The rhythmical aspect got its emphasis on ethnic (Latin) percussion, and BOTH melody and rhythm accentuations are provided with Hancock's piano.

The piano is special: Herbie's modal passages are hypnotic, repetitive - they sound almost like your typical sequence in electronic music - only played with grand piano. It may vary from smooth to spasmic, but it's always transcendental. And the beauty is in the melody: while exploring the scales and modalities, Herbie is never getting to technical, and always remaining mellow. Patterns are slowly rendering from one to another, and further to intervals, chords, getting more and more complex and dissonant, but flowing so naturally you always think they're simple as a lullaby. What a genius.

The albums' overall picture is a bit generic, but in a good way. All the tracks are straight as an arrow: there are no meandering in various jazz styles, furthermore, the songs are following some very similar patterns. Some tracks are sharing almost identical rhythm patterns, and ascending piano textures (although not the same chord progressions).

Even that could be turned in the light of the positive facts about this album: remember it was 1964, jazz-rock was not born yet. And yet we have here an artist that clearly influenced many (including the whole Canterbury scene, and, I dare say, Keith Emerson himself), and paved the way for the renowned artists such are WEATHER REPORT and the like.

Highly recommended for everyone.

Report this review (#185887)
Posted Wednesday, October 15, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This early Hancock album is great legacy from his pre-fusion period. Not his best work for sure, but still very good elegant post-bop work. You can hear perfectly Hancock's musicianship on acoustic piano, and the music is great.

Very atmospheric, a bit melancholic, down tempo, it is one great jazz coming from mid 60-s. And it's interesting - it doesn't sound date even now. Yes, it sounds as classic music of its time, but never as museum's example.

Acoustic piano and rhythm section - it's all what great musicians need to play such a nice music! Possibly it's a bit nostalgic feeling, but listening to that album I just remember the times, when albums were shorter, contained less compositions, but each composition was small piece of art.

This album is full of such atmosphere. For sure, it still 1964 and there are not even traces of jazz fusion, so if you aren't jazz fan, this album possibly isn't for you. But if you are not only fusion lover, but like to hear what was before (and how great it was!), this album is one of good choices.

And you will hear how great Hancock sounded in his young years, still playing piano.

Report this review (#282374)
Posted Monday, May 17, 2010 | Review Permalink

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