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Herbie Hancock

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Herbie Hancock Maiden Voyage album cover
4.21 | 226 ratings | 7 reviews | 44% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1965

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Maiden Voyage (7:53)
2. The Eye of the Hurricane (5:57)
3. Little One (8:43)
4. Survival of the Fittest (9:59)
5. Dolphin Dance (9:16)

Total Time 41:48

Line-up / Musicians

- Herbie Hancock / piano, composer

- Freddie Hubbard / trumpet
- George Coleman / tenor saxophone
- Ron Carter / bass
- Anthony Williams / drums

Releases information

Recorded on March 17, 1965 at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

Artwork: Reid Miles (design & photo)

LP Blue Note ‎- BLP 4195 (1965, US) Mono version
LP Blue Note ‎- BST 84195 (1965, US) Stereo version

CD Blue Note ‎- CDP-7 46339 2 (1986, US)
CD Blue Note ‎- 7243 4 95331 2 7 (1999, US) 24-bit remaster by Rudy Van Gelder

Thanks to clarke2001 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy HERBIE HANCOCK Maiden Voyage Music

HERBIE HANCOCK Maiden Voyage ratings distribution

(226 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(44%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(31%)
Good, but non-essential (15%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

HERBIE HANCOCK Maiden Voyage reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Perfect album still from 60-s: nothing in common with later Hancock fusion, but highest level cool jazz. All musicians are stars there: Freddie Hubbard was absolut cool jazz trumpet star, bassist Ron Carter and Coleman (sax) as well. Tony Williams ( future fusion star) is still in very beginning of his career.

The music is still far away from Hancock later fusion and synthesizer compositions, there we hear cool jazz in it's best tradition. All songs are strong, but I love tha last one - Dolphin dance. Acoustic piano composition with brass interplays with catching melodism and light nostalgy.

Excelent cool jazz album, cuold be recommended to all jazz lovers. For Hancock fusion works better search in his more later works.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars I must admit that when it comes to traditional Jazz like "Kind Of Blue" by Miles Davis it's like throwing pearls to swine as far as my appreciation of it goes. Just not a fan at all. In fact any music from the fifties and early sixties is for me like watching a black and white TV screen. The colour came (when it comes to Jazz) in the later sixties with "In A Silent Way" or even better "Elastic Rock"(NUCLEUS) from 1970. I guess my growing up on heavy music like SABBATH, ZEPPELIN, RUSH and AC/DC sort of spoiled me for the so called finer things in music. I wouldn't change a thing though. So you can imagine my hesitation at getting "Maiden Voyage" from Herbie Hancock. Hesitation because it was released in 1965. Now I knew "A Love Supreme" by Coltrane was released the same year but I was worried about this Hancock album being too traditional. I saw it a few weeks ago in a used record shop and again went over the lineup with Hancock on piano, Williams on drums, Hubbard on trumpet, Coleman on sax and Carter on bass and decided I was going for it. This album is considered a classic by most Jazz enthusiasts and after many listens I have to admit it's pretty good. I like it better than "Kind Of Blue" but I still wouldn't be giving this 4 stars if it wasn't for the opening track which for me is by far the best song on here.

"Maiden Voyage" opens with the piano and drums standing out and when the trumpet comes in i'm smiling and thinking of NUCLEUS. This is easy going and beautiful. "The Eye Of The Hurricane" is uptempo with lots going on. Piano and bass come to the fore before 3 1/2 minutes as the drums continue.The brass is back 5 1/2 minutes in. "Little One" is laid back as horns and piano casually take turns leading.

"Survival Of The Fittest" is where Williams puts on a bit of a show before it kicks in with horns to an uptempo mode. Another brief drum show around 3 1/2 minutes. A piano solo before 7 minutes. "Dolphin Dance" is relaxed throughout. By the way this is an instrumental concept album about the sea. As Herbie says in the liner notes "This music attempts to capture it's vastness and majesty, the splendor of a sea-going vessel on it's maiden voyage, the graceful beauty of the playful dolphins, the constant struggle for survival of even the tiniest of sea creatures, and the awesome destructive power of the hurricane, nemesis of seamen". That's what's up !

Barely 4 stars.

Review by progrules
4 stars I can't help myself but listening to Maiden Voyage after having listened to Sextant and Crossings quite a lot of times is like coddling oneself with a nice warm bath or something. My first experience with Hancock's music was The Prisoner and that's more or less the same style as this earlier Maiden Voyage. And I must admit this is the Hancock I prefer (over the "Mwandishi-Hancock").

Okay, I admit this is far less challenging and maybe even less interesting but I can't help being a sucker for real music and in this case main stream jazz like also Davis plays it in most cases. It's even a legitimate question whether this is prog at all. Probably just jazz prog related. But since also his main stream jazz albums are in the Archives I feel warranted to review them as well. Even though I will not check out all (some 40 ?) of them I guess... I will have to add that it's an excellent addition to any jazz collection (instead of any prog collection)

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is the little sister of Kind of Blue. Like her six-years-older brother, there are five pieces of magnificent jazz featuring piano, trumpet, saxophone, bass, and drums. While I prefer Bill Evans to Herbie Hancock as a pianist, Hancock is a more versatile player who would get to show off this versatility (sadly, a strung-out Evans wouldn't make it past 1980). Each performance offers something of value to its respective piece and thus the album as a whole. I cannot imagine someone who enjoys Kind of Blue or jazz in general dismissing this masterpiece.

"Maiden Voyage" Featuring one of the greatest melodic motifs in jazz music, "Maiden Voyage" boasts a steady piano making extensive use of minor seventh chords. The lead saxophone ranges from smooth and traditional to rapid and dizzying. Hancock's elegant piano takes over with a pleasing chord melody. As the title suggests, the music causes one to envision the grandeur of the sea on a cloudless day whilst aboard a virgin vessel.

"The Eye of the Hurricane" This more upbeat fare has a greater initial emphasis on the trumpet and the nimble rhythm section. The second half retains the latter but replaces the trumpet with a rapid series of single piano notes that have not only a "falling-down-the-stairs" quality, but a "falling-up-the-stairs" quality too!

"Little One" Toning things down to a sleepy jazz lullaby, "Little One" offers soothing piano and trumpet. Hancock's choice of runs is playful and relaxing at once. The bass solo sneaks in gradually, like a father who wonders why his child is up playing when she should be in bed. His gentle but sturdy voice shows her back to her place, and she complies, drifting off to pleasant dreams.

"Survival of the Fittest" Beginning with a brief drum solo, this fourth piece erupts into a lively shindig kicked off by trumpet. The rapidly alternating notes of the various instruments are like flirtatious preteens ticking one another and instigating a pillow fight. As most of the rest of the musicians take a breather, Hancock keeps the party alive with a sprightly cadenza.

"Dolphin Dance" Returning to the motif-bookended smooth jazz of "Maiden Voyage," this piece provides an appropriate denouement. As cliché as it may be, when I listen to this tune, my mind always conjures up aged lovers enjoying a dance together; maybe that aged couple will be my wife and me someday down the road, and that'd be nice.

Review by Anthony H.
5 stars Herbie Hancock: Maiden Voyage [1965]

Rating: 9/10

Not only is Maiden Voyage the peak of Herbie Hancock's early period, it is also one of the greatest jazz albums ever released. Although Herbie's 60s albums certainly do receive large amounts of acclaim within jazz circles, it seems like they're overshadowed by giants like Miles Davis and John Coltrane. This is unfortunate, considering that Maiden Voyage is a record of the same caliber as classics such as Sketches of Spain and My Favorite Things.

The quality of a jazz record is usually directly tied to the skill of its musicians, and this album is no exception. Featured is here is one of the strongest quintets ever assembled. Herbie himself sounds incredible, of course, but his performance is quite restrained, especially for a frontman. He does solo a few times, but his piano playing is mostly rhythmic; it is glue that keeps the rest of the band together. George Coleman plays some tasty tenor sax, and Ron Carter's subtle bass ties the music together in an even more seamless manner.

In terms of pure musicianship, however, there are two real stars here: Freddie Hubbard on trumpet and Tony Williams on drums. Hubbard's playing here is transcendental; there are few trumpet players, living or dead, who can get such a glorious tone out of the instrument. His solo in the title track is one of the most gorgeous things I've ever heard in jazz. Williams is an esteemed drummer, and his performance on this album demonstrates why. He moves past normal "ba-bum-tsh" jazz drumming, instead delivering an intricate and sophisticated performance that adds another layer of complexity to the music.

Although this is a pure hard-bop record that bears little resemblance to the long-form fusion of Crossings or the electro-funk of Head Hunters, this is not album bereft of progressive sensibilities. The layers of instrumentation on each piece are nothing short of astounding, and the complexity of the arrangements moves beyond what normal for jazz up to this point. Maiden Voyage is a jazz classic in every sense of the term; every element of the music, from the composition itself to the beautiful musicianship, is executed nearly flawlessly. This is essential listening for anybody even slightly interested in jazz.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Smells good; is it fusion yet? No, not by a stretch - electric instruments haven't come out to play yet, the rock and funk influences of Herbie's 1970s output aren't yet in evidence, and by and large the music here is rooted in the post-bop genre. But the same time, I detect in Herbie's subtle piano tones here a foretaste of the sort of dreamy electric piano textures which he and Chick Corea would conjure up at the behest of Miles Davis four years later on In a Silent Way. On top of that, Maiden Voyage is a perfectly strong album in its own right, offering a relaxing journey on the oceans of post-bop.

Latest members reviews

5 stars I do not know if I would necessarily categorize this album as jazz-rock fusion, but I am ever so glad the Maiden Voyage has made it into the Progarchives lists! (a side note: isn't that incredible that Herbie Hancock, who'd come up with this masterpiece 50 years ago, is still in business!) To ... (read more)

Report this review (#915804) | Posted by Argonaught | Monday, February 18, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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