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THE PIANO

Herbie Hancock

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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Herbie Hancock The Piano album cover
3.51 | 15 ratings | 2 reviews | 13% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1979

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. My Funny Valentine (7:42)
2. On Green Dolphin Street (3:20)
3. Someday My Prince Will Come (4:35)
4. Harvest Time (4:49)
5. Sonrisa (3:44)
6. Manhattan Island (3:56)
7. Blue Otani (3:25)

Total Time 31:31

Bonus Tracks on 2004 remaster:
8. My Funny Valentine (tk3 Alternate) (6:08)
9. On Green Dolphin Street (tk2 Alternate) (4:04)
10. Someday My Prince Will Come (tk3 Alternate) (5:16)
11. Harvest Time (tk3 Alternate) (5:10)

Line-up / Musicians

- Herbie Hancock / piano

Releases information

Recorded October 25 & 26, 1978 at CBS/Sony Studio, Tokyo

Artwork: Yoshio Nakanishi with Kazumi Kurigami (photo)

LP CBS/Sony ‎- 30AP 1033 (1979, Japan)

CD CBS/Sony ‎- 38DP 43 (1983, Japan)
CD Columbia ‎- CK 87083 (2004, US) Remastered with 4 bonus tracks (additional alternate takes of the same session, previously unreleased)

Thanks to clarke2001 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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HERBIE HANCOCK The Piano ratings distribution


3.51
(15 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(13%)
13%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
33%
Good, but non-essential (47%)
47%
Collectors/fans only (7%)
7%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

HERBIE HANCOCK The Piano reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Kazuhiro
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars 1974 year might have been an age of the reformation and the challenge in the history of his music for Herbie Hancock. Flow transfered the register from work in age of Blue Note to Warner Bros. And, a bold music character after it transfers the register to Sony Records is revolutionized. They might have been exactly kaleidoscopic in the flow of the music of Herbie Hancock at this time.

"Dedication" that had been announced in 1974 became first Solo Album for him. Because the synthesizer besides an acoustic piano and the machine parts such as Fender Rhodes were used, some loose impressions might be given as a content of the album in "Dedication". And, he is beginning the production of Solo Album again in 1978 after four years after announcing "Dedication". The album is this "The Piano". A research a little to guess the reason to require time for four years per two Solo Album of "Dedication" and "The Piano" might be necessary.

When "Dedication" is produced, he is making remarks.

"Let's produce the album ..it is possible to give of the period of the preparation... "

When you apply the focus to a past work and the situation in the history of his music. It was demanded from Herbie Hancock to perform the electric piano for work with Miles Davis. And, the performance was an element where Herbie Hancock had been adopted at once in the work at the time of Blue Note. To expand the width of his music character at once, the style was digested.

He might not have been uplifting feelings so much for producing "Dedication". If his music character at this time is considered, it will be able to find some respects. !It was announced in "Head Hunters" and 1974 that had been announced in 973 years "Thrust". These routes are important works that put the position of his music in the 70's. The route where the music character that he had done till then was boldly changed was his pronoun at this time. It struck close to home in Jazz Rock and music that united the element of Funk Music struck close to home to the listener.

An indeed loose impression might have been given to the listener in "Dedication" produced in the flow to which the route was gradually established. As for musical instruments used for producing "Dedication", the synthesizer and Fender Rhodes besides an acoustic piano are used. There might have been a few ditches in an idea to his music, directionality, and an original meaning of Solo Album. Musical instruments and ideas that man at that time had used might have given a little loose impression. It was "Dedication" that it had appeared remarkably as it was.

The music character at which Herbie Hancock had aimed for producing Solo Album like Chick Corea often compared well with Herbie Hancock at that time had a surely original sense. However, there might surely have been room and width in the music of Herbie Hancock between these "The Piano" that had been announced through years of four years after "Dedication" had been announced. If an opposite meaning was used, years of four years might have been necessary to produce Solo Album again.

One competes with Chick Corea. Or, V.S.O. P is formed. These points might surely have expanded the width of the music character of Herbie Hancock. A whole volume acoustic piano is used in this album. The impression that returns the expression of the self to an acoustic element again for his music is given to the listener. Of course, the route of "Head Hunters" is established in his music as the existence of one pronoun. However, the situation in which this "The Piano" was produced as a method of expressing the music of Herbie Hancock in parallel with the route based on competing with various musicians might have been a natural by contraries act. The challenge and the direction to his music might always be done by the revolution and execution.

「My Funny Valentine」。And, tunes such as "On Green Dolphin Street" and "Someday My Prince Will Come" are known by performing Miles Davis before. And, it might be a tune that performs a lot of Herbie Hancock. He knows how to perform these standard Jazz. To tell the listener the tune, he has never destroyed the tune. A certain kind of transparent feeling and light advance by his sense and melody.

The melody with a transparent feeling of "Harvest Time" has succeeded splendidly, too. And, "Sonrisa" might be one of the highlights of this album.

It advances as the melody of "Manhattan Island" indeed has traveling a certain kind of light and a little [**] paving code. It advances by the element and the progress of rinky-dinks a few as for "Blue Otani" to take the hotel where it stayed when he produces this album name to the title of the tune. However, the point that his idea and sense are built everywhere of the tune might be splendid.

An extension of the width of the music character and a little room will surely be felt from the announcement of "Dedication" in the challenge to the music of Herbie Hancock that works on Solo Album again through years of four years by me. The recording is done with Sony Studio of Tokyo as for this album in 1978.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Targeting on market situation of the moment not always is bad thing. This album is great example of it.

Late 70-s wasn't good time for progressive rock and jazz al around US and Europe both. But there were different places happily. In 1978, more or less at the same time when Hancock recorded his terrible "Feets, Don't Fail Me Now" for US market, he played and recorded one more, very different album, which wasn't noticed in US and Europe for years.

Recorded in Japan in 1978,and released for Japan-only market in 1980, such album is "The Piano". I believe no-one was interested in acoustic piano-only album of jazz in main world's music markets in 1980. Japan was a bit different. Hancock plays what he knows excellent for years - his interpretation of jazz standards (on side A) and his own original compositions (on side B). Musicianship is soulful,intelligent , showing his great talent in full. With no relations to show biz fashion (Hancock was very fast and flexible in this field) he stays one great jazz piano player.

For sure, it's difficult to name such album, released in 1980, advanced or innovative. No, really - conservative. But when disco-funk and punk were all around, release of such work was a small heroic action.

With full understanding of almost zero chances for success in Europe or States, this album was released in Japan only and for years was almost unknown obscurity in these markets. Only in 2004 it was re-released in Europe (as CD with bonuses). Pure classic acoustic jazz, it's a great release for real Hancock fans, and jazz lovers. No relation with fusion or even experimental Hancock's funky jazz though.

My rating is 3,5,rounded to 4.

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