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Herbie Hancock - V.S.O.P.: The Quintet CD (album) cover

V.S.O.P.: THE QUINTET

Herbie Hancock

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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js (Easy Money)
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4 stars If you enjoy the music of The Miles Davis Quintet recorded in the 60s, then you might enjoy checking out this reunion of sorts recorded in 1977. This isn't a full reunion because our main man Miles has been replaced by Freddie Hubbard, and that one replacement makes quite a difference. The band on here is not as tentative and cautious as the original Quintet, they are all older and more confident and Freddie's bold brassy attack on the trumpet is far different from Miles more relaxed and almost mysterious approach. The end result is that this version of The Quintet is much more assertive and explosive than their original version. Tony Williams in particular doesn't mind showing everyone that he has been playing a lot of jazz fusion since the last time they were together.

Although the music on here tends to be loud and aggressive, don't expect jazz-rock. This is hard bop played in classic swing time, but with a drummer as free and inventive as Tony Williams, this bop often teeters on the edge of chaos. Also, not everything on here is fireworks, there are also two nice ballads (Jessica and Little Waltz) which bring back the quiet mystery of the original Quintet. On these two tunes Hubbard does a nice job of somewhat imitating Miles' quirky idiosyncratic trumpet playing.

Each one of these players is an absolute master on his instrument, some of the best talent in jazz ever, and they all sound like they are having a blast getting together again without their old stern, yet beloved taskmaster keeping them in check.

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Send comments to js (Easy Money) (BETA) | Report this review (#186318)
Posted Sunday, October 19, 2008 | Review Permalink

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