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Herbie Hancock biography
With a career that covers half of the 20th Century, and shows no sign of slowing down as we move further into the 21st, Herbie Hancock is one of the major music figures of our time. Within the world of progressive jazz/rock fusion he is topped only by Miles Davis when it comes to musical vision, but a bit ahead of Miles and all the rest when it comes to composition and soloing ability. Within the broader world of jazz music in general, his innovations on the piano place him in an elite group that includes Art Tatum, Bud Powell, Theolonius Monk, Bill Evans, Cecil Taylor and Sun Ra. Herbie's piano playing brings together many influences including French impressionism and neo-classicism, Bill Evan's soft touch, Horace Silver's hard bop, McCoy Tyner's quartal voicings and Bud Powell's fast single note lines, and creates a personal style that is instantly recognizable even if you only hear him play one or two notes.

Herbie was born in 1940 and by the age of eleven was performing Mozart's Concerto in D Major in a children's concert with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. When he was 20 Art Blakey picked him to join his Jazz Messengers. While with Blakey, Hancock learned how to play a mixture of RnB and jazz known as hard bop, a style that would later become the foundation for jazz fusion. Three years later Herbie was asked to join Miles' new quintet. During this time with Miles, Herbie, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Tony Williams developed a totally new and unique way to play behind soloists. Disregarding the more conservative approach of their predecessors, these three didn't just keep time, instead they played with the rhythm and harmony in restless and constantly inventive ways. It was during this time that Herbie developed his unique comping style that combines French neo-classical harmonies with syncopated rhythms and African derived single note lines played in octaves. While with Miles, Herbie also put out several solo albums including some, such as 'Speak Like a Child', that include Herbie's arrangements for small jazz orchestras. His unique scoring for instrumental ensembles reveal the expected French influences, as well as an influence from Gil Evans' orchestrations for Miles Davis. These laid-back and impressionistic albums sound like cool future lounge music for the ultra hipster of tomorrow.

In 1971 Hancock formed his Sextet, an ultra-progressive group that combined free jazz, electronics, futuristic African grooves and extremely invent...
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Herbie Hancock official website

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HERBIE HANCOCK Videos (YouTube and more)

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Head HuntersHead Hunters
Columbia / Legacy 1997
Audio CD$4.77
$1.25 (used)
Maiden VoyageMaiden Voyage
Blue Note 2014
$24.07 (used)
River: The Joni LettersRiver: The Joni Letters
Verve 2007
Audio CD$7.28
$0.90 (used)
Empyrean IslesEmpyrean Isles
Blue Note 1999
Audio CD$3.63
$2.84 (used)
The Essential Herbie HancockThe Essential Herbie Hancock
Sony Legacy 2006
Audio CD$9.96
$7.62 (used)
Audio CD$2.84
$2.83 (used)
Best Of: Herbie HancockBest Of: Herbie Hancock
Blue Note 1988
Audio CD$4.97
$0.01 (used)
Audio CD$3.25
$1.50 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
HERBIE HANCOCK - You bet your love (UK 7" single VINYL) USD $3.77 Buy It Now
Herbie Hancock Maiden Voyage Stereo 180gm vinyl LP USD $29.77 Buy It Now
Herbie Hancock - Sound-System [CD New] USD $10.51 Buy It Now
Sound-System by Herbie Hancock (CD, Aug-2016) USD $7.55 Buy It Now
CROSSINGS - Herbie Hancock Compact Disc USD $14.81 Buy It Now
MWANDISHI - Herbie Hancock Compact Disc USD $15.86 Buy It Now
Herbie Hancock-Very Best Of Jazz Collectors CD NEW USD $13.53 Buy It Now 5m 24s
Herbie Hancock Rockit 7" CBS A3577 EX 1983 Rockit/Rough USD $9.41 Buy It Now 10m 51s
HERBIE HANCOCK Mwandishi - Complete Warner Bros Recordings JAPAN 2-CD SET + OBI USD $7.53 [1 bids]
25m 26s
Herbie Hancock - The Essence - Scarce 2001 UK 9trk Limited Edition CD USD $6.27 Buy It Now 1h 10m
Feets Don't Fail Me Now LP ( S CBS 83491 ) Herbie Hancock USD $12.56 Buy It Now 1h 22m
HERBIE HANCOCK original 10x8 inch promo press photo photograph 1690-2 USD $6.27 Buy It Now 1h 30m
Miles Davis - Seven Steps to Heaven LP (Mono) herbie hancock VG+ USD $14.99 Buy It Now 1h 32m
Herbie Hancock - Head Hunters 2013 [CD New] USD $19.39 Buy It Now 2h 4m
Herbie Hancock-My Point Of View (UK IMPORT) CD NEW USD $7.68 Buy It Now 2h 11m
HERBIE HANCOCK: Treasure Chest LP (2 LPs, promo labels, gatefold cover, materia USD $25.00 Buy It Now 2h 11m
Herbie Hancock-Death Wish (UK IMPORT) Vinyl / 12" Album NEW USD $27.01 Buy It Now 2h 29m
HERBIE HANCOCK - VIBE ALIVE - Orig US Columbia 12"  USD $3.76 Buy It Now 2h 49m
3h 37m
Herbie Hancock fat albert rotunda 1969 JAPAN 24BIT CD OBI MINT JOE HENDERSON USD $24.99 Buy It Now 3h 50m
Joe Zawinul concerto retitled CD 1976 Ft Herbie Hancock Joe Henderson Woody Shaw USD $18.99 Buy It Now 3h 54m
HERBIE HANCOCK, VIBE ALIVE - 45 USD $5.00 Buy It Now 4h 8m
HERBIE HANCOCK: Treasure Chest LP (2 LPs, 'street' labels) Jazz USD $18.00 Buy It Now 4h 12m
HERBIE HANCOCK: Maiden Voyage LP (180g remastered re) Jazz USD $30.00 Buy It Now 4h 13m
Takin' Off by Herbie Hancock (CD, Jan-2004, Phantom Import Distribution) USD $0.99 [0 bids]
4h 19m
JIMMY HEATH: Fast Company Milestone 2x JAZZ LP Herbie Hancock FREDDIE HUBBARD USD $10.00 Buy It Now 4h 22m
Sunlight/Feets Don't Fail Me Now * by Herbie Hancock (CD, Sep-2016, 2 Discs,... USD $8.98 Buy It Now 4h 30m
Vernon "Ice" Black sneak previews JAPAN CD OBI ft.herbie hancock Philip Bailey USD $12.99 Buy It Now 4h 35m
HERBIE HANCOCK--Headhunters--CD--Remastered Edition USD $5.99 Buy It Now 4h 44m
Herbie Hancock trio & quartet JAPAN CD July 1981 ft. Ron Carter Tony Williams.. USD $24.99 Buy It Now 4h 54m
Perfect Machine by Herbie Hancock (CD, Oct-1991, Columbia (USA)) *C02 USD $29.99 Buy It Now 4h 54m
Herbie Hancock - Sunlight / Feets Don't Fail Me Now [CD New] USD $12.90 Buy It Now 5h 3m
Sunlight / Feets Don't Fail Me Now - Herbie Hancock (CD Used Very Good) USD $10.90 Buy It Now 5h 7m
MANDINGO: Self Titled AFRO Jazz w/ HERBIE HANCOCK Shrink USA Celluloid NM- LP USD $10.00 Buy It Now 5h 10m
HERBIE HANCOCK Feets Don't Fail Me Now LP (Columbia JC 35764) VG++ Disco Funk USD $6.99 Buy It Now 5h 19m
Feets Don't Fail Me Now by Herbie Hancock (CD, 2015, Funky Town Grooves) NEW SS USD $14.90 Buy It Now 5h 38m
My Point Of View - Herbie Hancock Compact Disc USD $10.88 Buy It Now 5h 41m
Herbie Hancock ?- Autodrive. Vinyl 12" Single. 1983 USD $2.51 [0 bids]
HERBIE HANCOCK - SEXTANT - CD USD $8.94 Buy It Now 6h 22m
Herbie Hancock Vibe Alive (PS) 7" Vinyl Single USD $6.91 Buy It Now 6h 36m
[SOUL/FUNK/JAZZ]~EXC LP~HERBIE HANCOCK~Sunlight~{Original 1978~CBS~Issue]~ USD $8.90 Buy It Now 6h 40m
[SOUL/FUNK/JAZZ]~EXC 12"~HERBIE HANCOCK~Rockit~[3:37]~Long Version~[5:22]~[1983] USD $5.90 Buy It Now 6h 40m
[SOUL/FUNK/JAZZ]~EXC LP~HERBIE HANCOCK~Monster~{Original 1980~CBS~Issue] USD $5.90 Buy It Now 6h 40m
[SOUL/FUNK/JAZZ]~NM 12"~HERBIE HANCOCK~GRANDMASTER D.ST.~Mega-Mix~TFS~Earth Beat USD $5.90 Buy It Now 6h 40m
[SOUL/FUNK/JAZZ]~EXC LP~HERBIE HANCOCK~Future Shock~{OG 1983~CBS~Issue] USD $5.90 Buy It Now 6h 40m
Monster [10/16] by Herbie Hancock (CD, Oct-2015, Funky Town Grooves) USD $10.56 Buy It Now 6h 44m
Feets Don't Fail Me Now [10/16] by Herbie Hancock (CD, Oct-2015, Funky Town... USD $10.56 Buy It Now 6h 44m
Herbie Hancock- The Prisoner- new/sealed 8 Track tape- Liberty label- rare? USD $25.00 Buy It Now 7h 21m
, Fingerpainting: The Music of Herbie Hancock, Excellent USD $14.99 Buy It Now 7h 32m
Sonny Rollins-The Standard-RCA 3355-HERBIE HANCOCK USD $29.99 Buy It Now 7h 36m
JOE FARRELL Orig 1973 "Penny Arcade" LP Herbie Hancock VG++ USD $19.99 Buy It Now 8h 2m
Herbie Hancock - Mr Hands [CD New] USD $12.44 Buy It Now 8h 3m
LEGACY Promo CD Miles Davis-Herbie Hancock-REO Speedwagon-The Byrds-Janis Joplin USD $4.99 Buy It Now 8h 8m
Speak Like a Child Herbie Hancock Audio CD USD $13.02 Buy It Now 8h 17m
Herbie Hancock Vinyl LP Headhunters USD $4.99 [1 bids]
8h 25m
ART DAVIS Time Remembered Ravi Coltrane Herbie Hancock NEW SEALED 180 gram LP USD $79.97 Buy It Now 8h 31m
Playlist: The Very Best of Herbie Hancock Audio CD USD $67.35 Buy It Now 8h 51m
Best of Herbie Hancock: The Hits Audio CD USD $13.21 Buy It Now 8h 51m
Herbie Hancock "Monster" USD $11.99 Buy It Now 9h 14m
Possibilities by Herbie Hancock Jazz Piano 2005 Hear CD Various Artists USD $4.50 Buy It Now 9h 20m
KEYBOARD Music Makers NM CHEVRON Jazz 2LP Merl Saunders Herbie Hancock USD $14.95 Buy It Now 9h 22m
Secrets - Herbie Hancock Compact Disc USD $8.41 Buy It Now 9h 22m
HERBIE HANCOCK The Best Of CD BRAND NEW USD $9.85 Buy It Now 9h 31m
HERBIE HANCOCK PROMO 2 CD COMPLETE WARNER 3 Jazz Funk lp soul blue note prestige USD $18.50 Buy It Now 9h 54m
HERBIE HANCOCK: Sound-System LP COLUMBIA RECORDS FC39478 US 1984 PROMO NM+ USD $10.19 Buy It Now 9h 56m
"The Best of Herbie Hancock," stereo, Blue Note BST 89907, 2 LP set, USD $7.99 [0 bids]
10h 4m
HERBIE HANCOCK / Directstep JAPAN CD Mini LP w/OBI SRCS-9503 USD $44.50 Buy It Now 10h 17m
HERBIE HANCOCK - HEAD HUNTERS - CD - NEW USD $14.23 Buy It Now 10h 18m
Herbie Hancock - River: Joni Letters [CD New] USD $13.97 Buy It Now 10h 49m
River: Joni Letters - Herbie Hancock (CD Used Very Good) USD $13.72 Buy It Now 10h 54m
The Best of Herbie Hancock: The Hits by Herbie Hancock (CD, Feb-2000,... USD $4.00 Buy It Now 11h 12m
MICHEL COLOMBIER Jaco Pastorius Herbie Hancock SEALED 1st Press LP 1978 CHR-1212 USD $48.89 Buy It Now 11h 14m
11h 38m
11h 45m
Herbie Hancock : Jazz Moods - Midnight CD (2004) USD $4.07 Buy It Now 11h 45m
Herbie Hancock : Best of Herbie Hancock CD (1990) USD $3.98 Buy It Now 11h 59m
MILES DAVIS In A Silent Way LP COLUMBIA PC 9875 Herbie Hancock Wayne Shorter USD $18.99 Buy It Now 12h 3m
DONALD BYRD Up With LP VERVE V6-8609 US 1964 RVG DG Herbie Hancock Kenny Burrell USD $20.69 Buy It Now 12h 3m
NAT ADDERLEY Sayin' Somethin' LP ATLANTIC SD 1460 US 1966 JAZZ Herbie Hancock USD $13.99 Buy It Now 12h 3m
DONALD BYRD I'm Tryin' To Get Home LP BLUE NOTE 4188 NY EAR MONO Herbie Hancock USD $29.69 Buy It Now 12h 6m
DONALD BYRD I'm Tryin' To Get Home LP BLUE NOTE 84188 Herbie Hancock Grant Green USD $29.69 Buy It Now 12h 6m
GRANT GREEN Feelin' The Spirit LP BLUE NOTE 4132 US 1963 NY RVG Herbie Hancock USD $62.09 Buy It Now 12h 6m
STANLEY TURRENTINE Joyride LP BLUE NOTE BLP 4201 US 1965 NY MONO Herbie Hancock USD $30.59 Buy It Now 12h 6m
Herbie Hancock Mega-Mix Mixed by Grandmaster D.ST. 1984 LP Record electro funk USD $5.00 Buy It Now 12h 6m
Herbie Hancock Box: the Columb - Hancock,Herbie CD-JEWEL CASE USD $33.32 Buy It Now 12h 8m
River: The Joni Letters by Herbie Hancock (CD, Sep-2007, Verve) USD $11.78 Buy It Now 12h 13m
Herbie Hancock - Tell Everybody - U.S. PROMO 12" VINYL USD $6.98 Buy It Now 12h 53m
Takin' Off by Herbie Hancock (CD, Oct-2016) USD $11.40 Buy It Now 12h 59m
Under Tokyo Skies by Herbie Hancock (CD, Oct-2010, Jazz World (USA)) USD $6.25 Buy It Now 12h 59m
Herbie Hancock - Dedication [CD New] USD $11.83 Buy It Now 13h 3m
Dedication - Herbie Hancock (CD Used Very Good) USD $9.83 Buy It Now 13h 8m
Herbie Hancock / Dis Is Da Drum / 1994 PolyGram Music CD USD $4.99 Buy It Now 13h 29m

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HERBIE HANCOCK discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

HERBIE HANCOCK top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.12 | 7 ratings
Rock Your Soul (aka Jammin' With Herbie)
3.83 | 35 ratings
Takin' Off
3.25 | 9 ratings
My Point of View
3.95 | 23 ratings
Inventions And Dimensions (aka Succotash)
3.86 | 46 ratings
Empyrean Isles
4.25 | 169 ratings
Maiden Voyage
2.99 | 12 ratings
Blow-Up [OST split with The Yardbirds]
4.22 | 30 ratings
Speak Like a Child
3.61 | 24 ratings
The Prisoner
3.67 | 25 ratings
Fat Albert Rotunda
4.10 | 58 ratings
4.23 | 264 ratings
4.07 | 147 ratings
3.96 | 8 ratings
The Spook Who Sat by the Door (soundtrack)
3.86 | 180 ratings
Head Hunters
4.07 | 89 ratings
3.93 | 19 ratings
Death Wish
3.55 | 48 ratings
3.06 | 28 ratings
3.08 | 7 ratings
Herbie Hancock Trio
2.89 | 8 ratings
Direct Step
2.66 | 22 ratings
1.45 | 12 ratings
Feets, Don't Fail Me Now
3.29 | 27 ratings
Mr. Hands
2.10 | 11 ratings
3.51 | 7 ratings
The Piano
3.19 | 8 ratings
Herbie Hancock Trio With Ron Carter + Tony Williams
1.20 | 5 ratings
Magic Windows
1.00 | 5 ratings
Lite Me Up
2.70 | 32 ratings
Future Shock
3.00 | 13 ratings
4.08 | 5 ratings
Village Life [with Foday Musa Suso]
3.02 | 6 ratings
Round Midnight (O.S.T.)
1.90 | 11 ratings
Perfect Machine
3.12 | 7 ratings
A Tribute to Miles
3.06 | 12 ratings
Dis Is Da Drum
3.00 | 15 ratings
The New Standard
3.97 | 10 ratings
1 + 1 [with Wayne Shorter]
3.76 | 14 ratings
Gershwin's World
2.08 | 12 ratings
Future 2 Future
1.72 | 8 ratings
4.00 | 12 ratings
River: The Joni Letters
3.12 | 15 ratings
The Imagine Project

HERBIE HANCOCK Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.33 | 6 ratings
Hear, O Israel
3.00 | 2 ratings
In Concert, Vol. 2 (with Stanley Turrentine, Freddie Hubbard, Jack DeJohnette, Ron Carter and Eric Gale)
2.25 | 5 ratings
3.13 | 14 ratings
4.00 | 10 ratings
4.06 | 14 ratings
V.S.O.P.: The Quintet
4.80 | 5 ratings
V.S.O.P.: Tempest in the Colosseum
3.09 | 4 ratings
An Evening with Herbie Hancock & Chick Corea
4.08 | 6 ratings
V.S.O.P.: Live Under the Sky
4.00 | 3 ratings
3.17 | 5 ratings
Herbie Hancock Quartet
0.00 | 0 ratings
One Night With Blue Note, Volume 1 (with Bobby Hutcherson / James Newton)
4.00 | 1 ratings
Jazz Africa (with Foday Musa Suso)
3.00 | 1 ratings
Day Dreams
4.00 | 4 ratings
Directions in Music: Live at Massey Hall
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live: Detroit/Chicago
0.00 | 0 ratings
Omaha Civic Auditorium 17th November 1975

HERBIE HANCOCK Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Future2Future Live
0.00 | 0 ratings
Watermelon Man
0.00 | 0 ratings
Herbie Hancock & the New Standard Allstars in Japan

HERBIE HANCOCK Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best Of Herbie Hancock
0.00 | 0 ratings
Treasure Chest
0.00 | 0 ratings
Kawaida (with Don Cherry)
3.00 | 1 ratings
Herbie Hancock
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Best Of Herbie Hancock
5.00 | 2 ratings
Live Under the Sky
3.95 | 2 ratings
The Essential Herbie Hancock
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best of Herbie Hancock
2.91 | 2 ratings
the Very best Of Herbie hancock
0.00 | 0 ratings
Quartet Live
5.00 | 4 ratings
Cantaloupe Island
4.07 | 7 ratings
Mwandishi: The Complete Warner Bros. Recordings
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Blow Up Extra-Sessions
2.00 | 1 ratings
Then & Now: The Definitive Herbie Hancock
0.00 | 0 ratings
Late Night Jazz Favorites
0.00 | 0 ratings
Watermelon Man The Ultimate Hancock!

HERBIE HANCOCK Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Watermelon Man / Three Bags Full
2.25 | 4 ratings


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Sextant by HANCOCK, HERBIE album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.07 | 147 ratings

Herbie Hancock Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja
Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

3 stars The finale of the Mwandishi trilogy, Herbie Hancock and crew find themselves the most immersed in their exploratory African soundscapes as ever, and give one last artistic hoorah before the more commercial "Head Hunters" follow-up album.

This album truly is one of a kind. A strictly avant-garde jazz album, this is certainly not a "progressive rock" album, but it is undoubtedly a progressive album. Heavily influenced by African rhythms, "Sextant" creates some of the most abstract jazz put to record. There is very little discernible melody to be noted, so "Sextant" is best listened to hypnotically, simply following the grooves and letting the sounds passively take you away to places you didn't even know existed.

The album's first side is the highlight for me, and where most of my enjoyment of it comes from. "Rain Dance" dabbles into early electronic music and "Hidden Shadows", the most conventional piece on the record, builds off of an almost funk-like beat. The second side, which consists of the 19+ minute long "Hornets", is a bit of a letdown. While the grooves on side one were relatively easy to get caught up in, "Hornets", as the name suggest, is spiny, abrasive and at times almost physically painful from the dissonance.

This is no doubt an album of great artistic merit, and one that all jazz fans and fans of avant-garde music should invest in, but I personally can't consider it to be essential because of the extensive attack from "Hornets". If not for side two, I would have given "Sextant" 4 stars (possibly even 5), but as it stands, "Hornets" makes it 3.

 Dis Is Da Drum by HANCOCK, HERBIE album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.06 | 12 ratings

Dis Is Da Drum
Herbie Hancock Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

3 stars I cannot fathom that there would be any question that HERBIE HANCOCK has been amongst the crème de le crème of fusionists that the jazz world has ever experienced. Right from the very start of his early career this keyboardist extraordinaire was chomping at the bit to break free from the standard post-bop of the day by incorporating hitherto unheard of techniques into the jazz world such as orchestral accompaniments, inventive new ways of expressing simple chords and ways of incorporating non-jazz elements seamlessly into the genre which eventually entered him access into the musical world of Miles Davis and beyond. In the 70s HANCOCK really took off with this innovation with "Mwandishi" trilogy, the funk jazz of "Headhunters" and the jazz-inflicted electro- funk of albums like "Future Shock" in the 80s. Never being one to rest on his laurels the 90s proved to be yet another period of adventurous experimentation with hip-hop and dance music that after simmering for a decade on the world's dance floors eventually got the label "acid jazz."

With HERBIE's ambition to leave no viable rhythmic stones unturned he headed into the studio with a huge eclectic crew of musicians and producers from both the past and modern day to create one of his most accessible and unusual albums (for him) yet - DIS IS DA DRUM, an album that tackles the 90s hip-hop rhythms, 80s dance floor grooves and jazz history of the past. Of course, HERBIE effortlessly melds all of the above together in the most pleasant of ways creating the perfect jazz meets dance floor album that keeps the dance floor sensibilities intact while fortifying them with his lush keyboard solos, sampling loops, jazz instruments like sax and trumpet while incorporating ethnic African instruments ranging from the djembe, bata, conga dunun, shekere, cabasa all the while keeping it sewn together with the state of art production technology the era had to offer.

While i have to admit that this was not what i expected upon first listen, i remained open minded and found it took a few spins to sink in. While not exactly difficult to absorb upon listen number one, it can be a slap in the face for any jazz purists who are expecting the usual syncopation as usual or the complexities of post-bop or 70s fusion. This is a feel good album that treats the listener to steady dance floor / hip hop beats while letting the jazz-fusion feast play second fiddle while retaining its consistency and danceable rhythms that dominate DIS IS DA DRUM. No fear for those who crave the complexibtilies of jazz. They are there but simply contributing a behind-the-scenes approach where they ooze out now and again to remind you that this is indeed a HERBIE HANCOCK album and his high standards insure us that he has the knack for choosing the best of the best to help fulfill his vision of this unique musical expression.

DIS IS DA DRUM is often described as the perfect party jazz album and that is a statement that i am totally on board with. This is indeed a nice cocktail lounge cornucopia of sounds that works so well as background music but with enough savoir-faire to please jazz musicians who are keen to notice all the details. While this certainly will never rank amongst the top achievements that HERBIE HANCOCK has contributed to the world of music in general, this remains a nice little supplemental feast of sounds for those who wish to delve beyond the classics and into the more eccentric little adventures that HANCOCK has embarked upon. Generally speaking this album starts out very strong but seems to diminish its effect as it progresses due to the fact that the incessant monobeats do steal the thunder of it being a totally outstanding album. Still though, not a bad listen in the least.

3.5 rounded down

 The Essential Herbie Hancock by HANCOCK, HERBIE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1986
3.95 | 2 ratings

The Essential Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I have long had an intention to listen to Herbie Hancock's most progressive fusion albums from the 70's. Also in general I haven't yet formed a closer picture of the large discography of the legandary American jazz keyboardist, but this 2-CD compilation served as a good basic introduction a couple of years ago. It covers the years from 1962 to 1996 (the CD was released in 2006). I had made myself a "best of the best" single disc of it, and after listening to it this morning with great pleasure I thought to write the first review here.

I'm fond of jazz (favouring more recent stuff, vocal jazz and fusion included) but I'm not an expert in the genre's historical phases. When I listen to a canonised classic jazz musician it's not so important for me to fully ackowledge the musician's place in the genre development. One of Hancock's achievements is the vast diversity, including the aforementioned progressive fusion, hip hop and other danceable styles. Some of his music perhaps goes too much into territories not very pleasant to us prog listeners.

The opening tracks 'Watermelon Man' and 'Round Midnight' (the latter being an overplayed jazz standard, not written by Hancock or even associated to him especially) didn't make it to my own CD, but starting from 'Cantaloupe Island' from his perhaps first masterpiece album Maiden Voyage (1965) the music feels timeless, not worn-out in the least bit. The title track of that album is wonderful, nearly 8-minute composition with plenty of progressivity. The music has intelligence and passion in perfect balance, as well as groove and melody. Side by side with Hancock's piano the leading role is given to e.g. reed instruments, such as Freddie Hubbard's cornet/trumpet.

The late 60's collaborations with MILES DAVIS are also represented, but not the electric fusion side of it. Finishing the first disc, 'Joanna's Theme' is taken from the Death Wish soundtrack (1974). It's really good to have the music in chronological order, so the compilation gives an overall picture of Hancock's different phases. Disc Two wanders from acoustic piano trio stuff to fusion and to the futuristic electricity of 'Rockit'. The New Standard (1996) was an album that covered e.g. Peter Gabriel ('Mercy Street'), Simon & Garfunkel, Prince and Sade. Here it's represented by HH's own tune 'Manhattan'.

There's no doubt that connoisseurs would have much to argue about what's included and what's not, not to speak about the inability to pack the whole respectable career in just two discs, but even with an emphasis on well known tracks this is more than a decent compilation, and a very functionable introduction.

 Takin' Off by HANCOCK, HERBIE album cover Studio Album, 1962
3.83 | 35 ratings

Takin' Off
Herbie Hancock Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars After performing on one album with the Pepper Adams & Donald Byrd Quintet, HERBIE HANCOCK wasted no time TAKIN' OFF into the limelight with his first solo release. Although this is basically a continuation of the hard bop found on the quintet's album, HERBIE is allowed to blossom here and he really stands out amongst the crowds of other hard boppers of the day. His signature piano playing isn't quite as funk-tinged as it would become in the 70s but it is already here gestating in this more traditional take on the contemporary jazz with top notch musicians to back him up. The duo horn section of Freddie Hubbard and Dexter Gordon with bassist Butch Warren and drummer Billy Higgins prove that HERBIE HANCOCK was ready for prime time and luckily for him success came almost instantly.

The album kicks off with "Watermelon Man" which may sound familiar because it's the same tune that was re-recorded for his jazz n' funkfest album "Headhunters" which like this debut upped his stardom another few notches. This first version is a standard jazz bop affair with a nice and easy delivery going on. Fans of HERBIE's later jazz-fusion work may not be impressed with this album since this is a HERBIE HANCOCK going with the flow of the contemporary music scene but he does it with such panache and confidence that it is an excellent album that shows the promise of the diversifying sounds he would later embrace. I prefer the more upbeat songs myself and find the slower ballads less interesting, however the strong tracks alone make this more than a worthy listening experience for pure jazz lovers.

 Rock Your Soul (aka Jammin' With Herbie) by HANCOCK, HERBIE album cover Studio Album, 1961
3.12 | 7 ratings

Rock Your Soul (aka Jammin' With Herbie)
Herbie Hancock Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

3 stars This album was originally released in 1961 and HERBIE HANCOCK debuts to the recording world on it but it was released under the name PEPPER ADAMS AND DONALD BYRD QUINTET - Out Of This World.

This album not only exhibits the cumbersome band names and titles of jazz albums throughout recording history but also is the perfect example of how a few recorded tracks that went virtually unheard at the time of release would go on to be repackaged, renamed under not only totally different track names and sequential order but also by completely different composers and artists! This album would have probably been a total obscurity in history had it not been for the the fact that it is the very first recording to feature HERBIE HANCOCK.

Let me list all the differences simply as a place to sort out the dizzying variations.

Those released under the artist name


Original release:

album: Out Of This World

released in 1961 as Warwick W 2041


1. Curro's

2. It's a Beautiful Evening

3. Mr. Lucky Theme

4. Bird House

5. Day Dreams

Second version:

album: Out Of This World Vol 2

released in 1988 as Warwick 2041 - 2


1. I'm An Old Cowhand (Unreleased)

2. Day Dreams (alt. take)

3. Out Of This World (alt. take)

4. Mr. Lucky (alt. take)

5. Curro's (alt. take)

6. Byrd House (alt. Take)

Third version:

album: Out Of This World: The Complete Warwick Sessions

released in 2010 on CD


1. Byrd House

2. Mr. Lucky

3. Day Dreams

4. I'm An Old Cowhand

5. Curro's

6. It's A Beautiful Evening

7. Out Of This World

Many of these tracks have also been released and put together in many ways as HERBIE HANCOCK album compilations as well. These album titles include:


Jammin'(with Herbie)



ROCK YOUR SOUL, which is technically a 2007 compilation of versions of these tracks

They have been renamed as they've been repackaged:

1. Jammin' With Herbie = Curro's

2. Herbie's Blues = Bird House

3. Rock Your Soul = Mr. Lucky

4. T.C.B. With Herbie = Out Of This World

5. Soul Power = Day Dreams

6. Cat Call = I'm An Old Cowhand

Note that "It's A Beautiful Evening" is missing from this release

After all that, let me get to the music. Well what we get here is some nice pleasant hard bop fairly standard from the period. Nothing extraordinary yet nothing horrible either. It is interesting to hear the very first recording from HERBIE HANCOCK where he simply accompanies the band and even though you can hear a trace of his jazz funk sound that would evolve into more interesting creations, I don't think this is an essential recording by any means. His piano playing pretty much continues on his very first album "Takin' Off" where it has improved. I guess I would pick this up at a very reduced price but don't lose any sleep if you can't find it. One of those collector's items and a good example of how poorly some earlier jazz albums were re-released over the decades, which makes it extremely confusing.

 Empyrean Isles by HANCOCK, HERBIE album cover Studio Album, 1964
3.86 | 46 ratings

Empyrean Isles
Herbie Hancock Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Empyrean Isles is a soft, gentle jazz album which offers few hints of the funk-fusion departures that would litter Herbie Hancock's later career (though Cantaloupe Island does have a little funk in its step). Aside from Herbie's piano, Freddie Hubbard is the major soloist here, with excellent cornet work which Herbie is wise enough to allow to take centre stage whenever the spirit's on Hubbard. Capturing the transformation from hard bop to post-bop, Empyrean Isles carries about it a strange, mysterious air which is perfectly captured by the otherworldly cover photo. Alfred Lion and Ruby van Gelder get the absolute best out of the band's sound too.
 Mwandishi by HANCOCK, HERBIE album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.10 | 58 ratings

Herbie Hancock Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by stefro
Prog Reviewer

5 stars When one speaks of Fusion, a select group instantly spring to minds. Miles Davis, Ian Carr & Nucleus, Return To Forever, the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Billy Cobham, and of course, Herbie Hancock. A beautifully-balanced pianist with exceptional talent, Hancock started issuing records around the same time as The Beatles(his first was 1962's 'Takin' Off') whilst also playing with the likes of Miles Davis and Chick Corea as a sideman and soloist. His first album of note was the coolly atonal 'Maiden Voyage', issued by Blue Note in 1965, but his first forays into fusion-style jazz appeared on 1968's funk-dipped 'Speak Like A Child'. From here on both the quality and experimental nature of Hancock's work began to increase, and the late-sixties transitional albums 'The Prisoner' and 'Fat Albert Rotunda' showcased some scintillating work from Hancock and his team. These last two albums blended spacey fusion histrionics and trad-jazz elements, the old melded with the new, yet were still rooted in the classical textures of the genre's past. As the sixties faded and the seventies began, however, Hancock would unveil 'Mwandishi', his first first full-blown fusion epic. The opening act of a trilogy of classic Hancock fusion albums, 1970's 'Mwandishi' is arguably the pick of the three, a visceral, highly-charged and exhilarating sonic odyssey that takes the listener deep into the musical galaxy of jazz-fusion. This journey is continued on the equally-as- brilliant 'Crossings'(1971) and also on the densely-concocted 'Sextant', yet the failure of the latter would see Hancock quickly abandon his atmospheric fusion style in favour of straight-up jazz-funk, issuing the seminal 1973 album 'Head Hunters', an album that would provide Hancock's breakthrough into the international musical arena. However, despite the lack of commercial success gleaned by 'Sextant' - a strange and difficult album - the fusion -era albums of Herbie Hancock have lasted the years well, still sounding as fresh and vital as they did during the early-seventies. All three are highly-recommended to those wishing to explore jazz-rock, though in this writer's mind 'Mwandishi' is the real masterpiece. Enjoy.
 Head Hunters by HANCOCK, HERBIE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.86 | 180 ratings

Head Hunters
Herbie Hancock Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Progfan97402

5 stars Herbie Hancock retooled the musical direction he headed for Head Hunters, realizing that people weren't buying his Mwandishi-era albums (I'm sure the same reason a fan of later Tangerine Dream is likely to be scared off of Zeit). It's those albums were a bit over the heads of mainstream listeners. Look, Mwandishi, Crossings, and Sextant were hardly made for mainstream listeners, and since my tastes are not exactly mainstream, I have no problem with these albums and really enjoy them a lot. Hancock simply formed a new band, although retaining Bennie Maupin from the old lineup.

It's nice to see Herbie Hancock did not dumb down his music to reach a wider audience, although Head Hunters is an admittedly more accessible, but instead of doing something overly mainstream, he adopts a funk approach. Certainly funky tendencies showed up on Sextant, particularly on "Hornets" with the funky blaxploitation-type drumming and clavinet, but it often veered on the avant garde. "Chameleon" is the most recognized song on this album and you can imagine tons of rap DJs sampling this song. There's this wonderful funky approach as well as more fusion-oriented passages. He then totally does a drastic remake of "Watermelon Man". If you've heard the 1962 original, with the piano and horns, you can't deny how catchy it is. I even find this song enjoyable even though I was never a fan of his Blue Note-era albums (I couldn't get into them, but I can see many jazz fans would enjoy them so I don't bother reviewing them since they're perfectly good albums I am unable to connect with). This 1973 remake is drastically different with odd Africal rhythms and strange whistle or bottle sounds, and the music updated for electric piano and clavinet. You might have to listen to this several times to notice that the familiar theme does creep up, it's certainly not in that straightforward piano and horn-dominated style of the original. Fusion fans are really going to be blown away with "Sly", an obvious tribute to Sly & the Family Stone. The band really gets into a really intense jam, but the funk influences Hancock has adopted for this album are ever present. "Vein Melter" is the closing piece and the closest to the previous sound you'll get, in fact Bennie Maupin's sax playing was more in lines with what was heard in Crossings. Going for this more accessible funk-influenced fusion certainly helped Herbie Hancock big time. It definitely prevented him from being dropped from Columbia Records (I'm certain had he recorded another album like Sextant, Columbia would have likely dropped him). I really find nothing to fault Head Hunters, it's very much a classic, and it did not require many listens to be amazed by it either!

 Head Hunters by HANCOCK, HERBIE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.86 | 180 ratings

Head Hunters
Herbie Hancock Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Sinusoid
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The textbook example of how to sell out and yet keep your musical dignity intact.

I'll go on record saying that SEXTANT might be my favourite album that Herbie Hancock put out, let alone one of his highest artistic triumphs. That artistic accomplishment didn't exactly translate into financial security. And I'm sure that the well-established powerhouse in Columbia Records wanted something that had more commercial viability. In essence, Hancock took a gamble by striking the Mwandishi concept after three albums, reducing the lineup of his band to just five, and taking pages out of Sly Stone and Stevie Wonder as a foundation for his next sonic approach.

HEAD HUNTERS is the resultant album of which most people that know of Herbie Hancock will register in their brains immediately. The music of HEAD HUNTERS is a counterbalance between jazz that the musicians are used to and funk, one of the music styles all the rage back when the album premiered. You could draw parallels to Hancock's career and Miles Davis's at the time, since Davis had notably ON THE CORNER as his big album at the time, another jazz record with strong funk leanings.

In all honesty, despite the more commercial approach the Headhunters (that will be the band name for a time) are going in, the album does retain most of the magic that made SEXTANT special. For starters, Bennie Maupin is the only other holdover from the Mwandishi lineup, a move that almost seems like common sense given how much character Maupin's reeds add to a piece of music (here, hear ''Sly''). Hancock's interpretation of funk crosses over well into the jazz world to the point where ''Chameleon'' is a new jazz standard despite the jam having heavy foreshadowing to hip hop. Where HEAD HUNTERS excels at is setting up a good groove and building on it without overstaying its welcome. It's why ''Chameleon'' has success in the first place, but the rapid fire section of ''Sly'' and the mid-tempo lock groove of a remake of ''Watermelon Man'' add to the overall appeal.

I would say HEAD HUNTERS has more funk in it than jazz, so the classic jazz fans might be turned off. Yet, any fan of jazz in a retro fashion will find this more than acceptable; especially those with more rock, funk and hip hop backgrounds. For me, the only reason HEAD HUNTERS is not an enjoyable masterpiece is that ''Vein Melter'' is significantly weaker than everything else on the album.

 Crossings by HANCOCK, HERBIE album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.23 | 264 ratings

Herbie Hancock Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Argonaught

3 stars The Crossings is often described as one of the greatest Herbie Hancock's fusion albums, but it has failed to impress me .. matter of fact, I am considering throttling it back to 2 stars only.

The Side A is quite decent, but nothing to write home about - a couple jazz-rock/fusion bits here and there, diluted by some foggy experimental stuff of the "it fell where it got dropped it" kind.

The Side B didn't work out well for me at all. It certainly didn't sound anything like jazz. And I can't remember what it sounded like - for which lapse of memory I sincerely apologize to those who may read this review.

Perhaps, I should force myself to listen to the second part of the CD on my way to Walmart and back :)

Thanks to Easy Money for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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