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Jazz Rock/Fusion • United States

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Herbie Hancock biography
Herbert Jeffrey "Herbie" Hancock - Born April 12, 1940 in Chicago, Illinois, USA

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-progress...
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Herbie Hancock official website

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Head Hunters [Vinyl]Head Hunters [Vinyl]
Sony Music Canada Inc. 2010
$23.99 (used)
Maiden VoyageMaiden Voyage
Blue Note 2014
$12.99 (used)
River: The Joni Letters [2 CD]River: The Joni Letters [2 CD]
Verve 2017
Audio CD$15.99
$17.02 (used)
Audio CD$3.86
$4.96 (used)
5 Original Albums5 Original Albums
Box set · Import
Imports 2016
Audio CD$11.46
$14.75 (used)
Empyrean IslesEmpyrean Isles
Blue Note 1999
Audio CD$5.29
$3.89 (used)
Warner P&D 2005
Audio CD$29.99
$2.37 (used)
Broadcast Collection 1973-1983Broadcast Collection 1973-1983
HI HAT 2018
Audio CD$32.60
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Herbie Hancock ?- Rockit (S-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d Version) : 1983 ELECTRO USD $2.76 [0 bids]
9m 22s
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34m 14s
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Herbie Hancock- Perfect Machine Longbox Cd Columbia Records USD $19.99 Buy It Now 2h 14m
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HERBIE HANCOCK SPEAK LIKE A CHILD Rare! Longbox Cd JAPAN Blue Note Classics USD $29.99 Buy It Now 2h 17m
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Herbie Hancock, V.S.O.P., V.S.O.P. the Quintet - Tempest in Colosseum [New CD] J USD $28.90 Buy It Now 2h 47m
HERBIE HANCOCK - Blow-Up LP (RARE US MONO Issue on MGM, w/Yardbirds) USD $45.99 Buy It Now 3h 16m
HERBIE HANCOCK Then And Now: The Definitive H UCCV-3040 CD JAPAN 2013 NEW USD $269.25 Buy It Now 3h 18m
HERBIE HANCOCK HardRock Rock It Metal Beat RARE Limted Edition PICTURE DISC 1984 USD $38.89 Buy It Now 3h 25m
BRANFORD MARSALIS Bloomington MARCUS MILLER The Sun Don't Lie HERBIE HANCOCK USD $6.95 Buy It Now 3h 29m
The Essential Herbie Hancock [Columbia/Legacy] [Remaster] by Herbie Hancock USD $3.39 [0 bids]
USD $7.56 Buy It Now
3h 48m
Joe Farrell Penny Arcade - CTI 6034 - White Label Promo Herbie Hancock USD $19.99 Buy It Now 3h 59m
(LP) HERBIE HANCOCK - Speak Like A... / Blue Note 45 RPM Reissue Series / #0350 USD $125.00 Buy It Now 4h 43m
HERBIE HANCOCK - Perfect Machine - CD JAPAN Mini LP OOP USD $30.00 Buy It Now 4h 53m
HERBIE HANCOCK: Crossings / Mono 45 (dj, plays VG+) Jazz USD $12.00 Buy It Now 5h 9m
HERBIE HANCOCK LP The Spook who sat by the door Original Movie Soundtrack 1973 USD $32.00 [7 bids]
5h 33m
An Evening With Herbie Hancock & Chick Corea In Concert Europe 2LP 1978 FOC /4* USD $17.99 Buy It Now 5h 35m
6h 36m
HERBIE HANCOCK The Essence VICP-35064 CD JAPAN 2001 USD $32.09 Buy It Now 6h 39m
HERBIE HANCOCK The Best Of LP BLUE NOTE 89907 US 1973 Hank Mobley Grant Green USD $12.74 Buy It Now 6h 52m
DONALD BYRD A New Perspective LP BLUE NOTE 84124 Hank Mobley Herbie Hancock RE USD $17.84 Buy It Now 6h 52m
KUUMBA-TOUDIE HEATH Kawaida LP O'BE RECORDS OB-301 Herbie Hancock Don Cherry USD $28.04 Buy It Now 6h 58m
KUUMBA-TOUDIE HEATH Kawaida LP O'BE RECORDS OB-301 Herbie Hancock Don Cherry USD $66.29 Buy It Now 6h 58m
HERBIE HANCOCK Empyrean Isles TOCJ-6468 CD JAPAN 2004 OBI USD $43.52 Buy It Now 6h 59m
Herbie Hancock - Secrets Europe LP /4* USD $16.99 Buy It Now 7h 19m
Herbie Hancock Feets Don't Fail Me Now vinyl lp JC 35764 [EX] 1st press USD $12.75 Buy It Now 8h 15m
Herbie Hancock 1978 Japan Tour Book Program w Flyer Maupin Paul Jackson Obiedo USD $89.99 Buy It Now 8h 25m
Rock Your Soul by Herbie Hancock (CD 2007 Kings Road) NEW jazz USD $2.99 Buy It Now 8h 34m
Herbie Hancock ?- Thrust CD - CK 64984 - Ex USD $9.37 Buy It Now 8h 41m
Blow-Up Original SoundTrack HERBIE HANCOCK/ YARDBIRDS LP MGM E 4447 ST MONO 1967 USD $29.99 Buy It Now 8h 52m
Herbie Hancock - Feets Don't Fail Me Now Europe LP 1979 /4* USD $15.99 Buy It Now 9h 2m
LP record by Herbie Hancock, Thrust USD $9.72 [5 bids]
9h 29m
Herbie Hancock - Then and Now: The Definitive Herbie... - Herbie Hancock CD 36VG USD $16.49 Buy It Now 9h 56m
THE BEST OF HERBIE HANCOCK - CD - NEW USD $15.14 Buy It Now 10h 30m
Herbie Hancock - Future Shock (CD Used Like New) USD $8.78 Buy It Now 10h 45m
Herbie Hancock you bet your love UK 7" USD $2.76 Buy It Now 11h 35m
HERBIE HANCOCK " VIBE ALIVE " 7" SINGLE P/S EX/EX 1988 USD $4.15 Buy It Now 11h 58m
HERBIE HANCOCK Monster SICJ-134 CD JAPAN 2016 NEW USD $30.11 Buy It Now 12h 20m
Herbie Hancock - Cantaloupe Island (NEW CD) USD $10.05 Buy It Now 12h 36m
Herbie Hancock - Takin' Off (NEW CD) USD $10.05 Buy It Now 12h 36m
LP, JOE FARRELL Penny Arcade Herbie Hancock Steve Gadd Joe Beck..,CTI 6034 VG++ USD $10.00 Buy It Now 12h 43m
Then And Now: The Definitive Herbie Hancock USD $19.60 Buy It Now 13h 48m
Herbie Hancock Head Hunters/Thrust 2-CD Box Set NEW SEALED 2002 Jazz USD $20.81 Buy It Now 13h 48m
Herbie Hancock Head Hunters CD NEW SEALED 2011 Jazz Watermelon Man+ USD $6.93 Buy It Now 13h 48m
FINGERPAINTING (The Music of Herbie Hancock) CD! BRAND NEW! STILL SEALED!! USD $12.99 Buy It Now 13h 56m
HERBIE HANCOCK FLOOD 1975 JAPAN 2 CD 3000yen SRCS USD $19.99 Buy It Now 14h 24m
Herbie Hancock - You Bet Your Love Ltd Edition Green Vinyl 12" S CBS 12 7010 USD $6.93 Buy It Now 14h 26m
Bonnie Raitt / Nick of Time (CD) David Crosby, Graham Nash, Herbie Hancock GREAT USD $1.59 Buy It Now 14h 29m
Herbie Hancock - The Collection (CD 1991) FRANCE Pressing USD $13.89 Buy It Now 14h 50m
Treasure Chest by Herbie Hancock 2x LP jazz funk USD $5.99 Buy It Now 14h 56m
Feets Don't Fail Me Now by Herbie Hancock LP SHRINK w HYPE STICKER UK IMPORT USD $8.99 Buy It Now 14h 56m
Herbie Hancock - Speak Like a Child - Herbie Hancock CD D2VG The Fast Free USD $6.56 Buy It Now 15h 46m
SEALED jazz LP HERBIE HANCOCK "The Piano" DIRECT DISK Japan '79 orig ~ WOW! USD $60.00 Buy It Now 15h 49m
HERBIE HANCOCK Head Hunters SICP-30285 CD JAPAN 2013 NEW USD $43.74 Buy It Now 15h 53m
HERBIE HANCOCK Man-Child SRCS-9501 CD JAPAN 1998 USD $47.49 Buy It Now 15h 57m
Herbie Hancock-Great Sessions CD Box set New USD $40.63 Buy It Now 16h 9m
HERBIE HANCOCK -Future Shock- Japan CD W/OBI 35DP-82 USD $12.00 [0 bids]
16h 32m
Herbie Hancock - Secrets (Vinyl Used Like New) USD $21.98 Buy It Now 16h 44m
Herbie Hancock - Feets Don't Fail Me Now IT LP 1979 Jazz Fusion /4* USD $19.49 Buy It Now 17h 5m
Herbie Hancock - Monster NL LP 1980 /3* USD $19.49 Buy It Now 17h 20m
herbie hancock monster USD $12.99 Buy It Now 17h 27m
Herbie Hancock - Thrust (CD Used Like New) USD $4.44 Buy It Now 17h 49m
Herbie Hancock - Hancock, Herbie : V.S.O.P.: Live Under the Sky [New CD] Bonus T USD $15.97 Buy It Now 17h 59m
Milt Jackson Goodbye CTI LP EX/NM Hubert Laws Herbie Hancock USD $4.50 Buy It Now 18h
George Kawaguchi Plays Herbie Hancock Japan CD 1987 USD $79.99 Buy It Now 18h 27m
Thrust by Herbie Hancock (CD, Aug-1998, BMG (distributor)) USD $3.52 Buy It Now 18h 33m
Thrust by Herbie Hancock (CD, Aug-1998, BMG (distributor)) USD $10.98 Buy It Now 18h 36m
Herbie Hancock - Hancock, Herbie : V.S.O.P.: Live Under the Sky [New CD] Bonus T USD $17.39 Buy It Now 18h 40m
HERBIE HANCOCK - TAKIIN' OFF CD NEW+ USD $13.29 Buy It Now 18h 47m
HERBIE HANCOCK Feets Don't Fail Me Now 25AP1340 JAPAN LP CBS SONY OBI DISCO USD $26.99 Buy It Now 19h 14m
Joe Farrell-Moon Germs-CTI 6023-HERBIE HANCOCK USD $19.99 Buy It Now 19h 37m
My Point of View by Herbie Hancock (CD Blue Note Records) USD $24.99 Buy It Now 19h 37m
20h 21m
Herbie Hancock - Sextant - Jeweled Case - CD USD $5.99 Buy It Now 20h 37m
HERBIE HANCOCK "Maiden Voyage" RVG, BST 84195 Stereo Vinyl USD $31.00 [2 bids]
20h 45m
HERBIE HANCOCK Feets Don't Fail Me Now JAZZ LP Shrink COLUMBIA USD $7.99 [0 bids]
20h 48m
HERBIE HANCOCK Futureshock JAZZ LP COLUMBIA 1/1 Matrix MATERDISK USD $7.99 [0 bids]
20h 49m
2CDD HERBIE HANCOCK "THEN&NOW.DEFINITIVE ". New and sealed USD $16.62 Buy It Now 20h 53m
FREDDIE HUBBARD, STANLEY TURRENTINE: In Concert, Herbie Hancock CTI Jazz LP NM- USD $12.00 Buy It Now 21h 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)

3.83 | 40 ratings
Takin' Off
3.35 | 15 ratings
My Point of View
3.97 | 28 ratings
Inventions And Dimensions [Aka: Succotash]
3.81 | 53 ratings
Empyrean Isles
4.24 | 182 ratings
Maiden Voyage
3.00 | 15 ratings
Blow-Up (OST)
4.27 | 36 ratings
Speak Like A Child
3.62 | 28 ratings
The Prisoner
3.69 | 29 ratings
Fat Albert Rotunda
3.21 | 9 ratings
Jammin' With Herbie [Aka: Rock Your Soul; Voyager]
4.09 | 69 ratings
4.23 | 280 ratings
4.12 | 163 ratings
4.00 | 10 ratings
The Spook Who Sat By The Door (OST)
3.86 | 194 ratings
The Herbie Hancock Group: Head Hunters
4.06 | 100 ratings
3.92 | 22 ratings
Death Wish (OST)
3.56 | 52 ratings
3.07 | 33 ratings
3.17 | 11 ratings
The Herbie Hancock Trio
2.94 | 12 ratings
2.67 | 26 ratings
1.63 | 16 ratings
Feets Don't Fail Me Now
3.51 | 11 ratings
The Piano
2.15 | 14 ratings
3.30 | 29 ratings
Mr. Hands
3.24 | 10 ratings
Herbie Hancock Trio - With Ron Carter + Tony Williams
2.00 | 9 ratings
Magic Windows
1.75 | 8 ratings
Lite Me Up
2.71 | 37 ratings
Future Shock
3.02 | 14 ratings
4.12 | 6 ratings
Herbie Hancock & Foday Musa Suso: Village Life
3.02 | 6 ratings
Round Midnight (OST)
1.84 | 12 ratings
Perfect Machine
3.10 | 13 ratings
Dis Is Da Drum
3.21 | 10 ratings
Herbie Hancock, W. Shorter, R. Carter, W. Roney & T. Williams: A Tribute To Miles
3.00 | 15 ratings
The New Standard
3.97 | 11 ratings
Herbie Hancock & Wayne Shorter: 1+1
3.78 | 17 ratings
Gershwin's World
2.08 | 12 ratings
Future 2 Future
1.73 | 9 ratings
3.97 | 13 ratings
River - The Joni Letters
3.11 | 16 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 | 3 ratings
In Concert, Vol. 2 (with Stanley Turrentine, Freddie Hubbard, Jack DeJohnette, Ron Carter and Eric Gale)
2.25 | 5 ratings
3.17 | 19 ratings
4.00 | 11 ratings
4.06 | 14 ratings
V.S.O.P.: The Quintet
4.80 | 5 ratings
V.S.O.P.: Tempest in the Colosseum
3.08 | 5 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
2.00 | 5 ratings


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Crossings by HANCOCK, HERBIE album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.23 | 280 ratings

Herbie Hancock Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja
Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

4 stars Man, Herbie Hancock could do no wrong during his legendary Mwandishi era. I mean, how could anyone, really? A marriage of traditional African music with contemporary electronica, all in a jazz context. With a guiding philosophy like that, the creative possibilities are endless! With this second instalment in the series, Herbie was presumably looking to evolve beyond the initial "Mwandishi" album, because he certainly did, and did so gracefully.

As great as "Mwandishi" was as a jazz album, there really wasn't too much on display that couldn't be found elsewhere in the jazz world, but with "Crossings", a sort of differentiation was beginning to develop. It wouldn't be until "Sextant" that Herbie and his bandmates would have something completely and wholly unique, but that's a different story. Because this developmental album captures some real magic, and is a defining pinnacle of Herbie's creativity.

So what makes "Crossings" one of those albums to write home about? That would be the album's first side, "Sleeping Giant". A true behemoth if I've ever heard one, this track feels almost like its own side-long prog epic, in a purely jazz setting. While extended, 20+ minute recordings are not atypical of jazz at all, what makes "Sleeping Giant" so remarkable is the sheer variety of moods that it manages to capture and the level of structural development that it undertakes. This is no 24 minute noodling session on top of a chord progression; this is a bona fide musical excursion. From the primordial opening, where traditional ethnic drums layer over top one another, to the sleek, cool soundscapes more akin to urban nightlife, there's a fantastic sense of pacing throughout. And the whole thing flows very organically, this isn't an awkward start-and-stop type of piece, or a "prog by numbers" medley by any means. From a compositional perspective, this is a true achievement of jazz.

Side two doesn't meet quite the same "wow-worthy" standard as "Sleeping Giant", but it's not a wasted section of vinyl at all. "Quasar" offers a heavier focus on the electronics that Herbie was experimenting with, which creates some very interesting sonic palettes. This carries over into "Water Torture", which closes off the album with a lazier, more subdued approach. My overall appraisal? Well, a stellar side and a decent side is still a very fine album when you average it all out. For serious jazz fans, I'd probably rate this is as essential listening. In fact, "Quasar" and "Water Torture" are very fine tracks, just not my cup of tea. For the prog sphere, though, I'm not sure if I'd extend my praise quite so far. This isn't a prog album after all (even though it is a very progressive one by most metrics). With that in mind, I'd still consider this to be an excellent jazz album for prog fans to pick up, if not exclusively for the fascinating structural creativity of side one. 4 stars.

 Sextant by HANCOCK, HERBIE album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.12 | 163 ratings

Herbie Hancock Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja
Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

4 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 more 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 delightfully abstract jazz put to record. There is very little discernible melody to be noted, but who cares? There are more than enough prog-by-numbers symphonic albums out there if that's what you're looking for. This album is a unique sonic collage, and an artistic tour de force. With that in mind, "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, although the magic permeates through all 3 extended compositions. "Rain Dance" dabbles into early electronic music and sets the album's tone very nicely: futuristic and cosmic, yet earthy and organic, paradoxically intertwined in a vast astral plane. The album cover gives a pretty good impression of the sorts of vistas you can expect to lie on these unbeaten paths. "Hidden Shadows", perhaps the most accessible piece on the record, continues the journey while building off of an almost funk-like beat. This one is a favourite of mine. The second side, which consists of the 19+ minute long "Hornets", is a bit more of an acquired taste. While the grooves on side one were relatively easy to get caught up in, "Hornets", as the name suggests, is spiny and abrasive with its dissonance. Although not immediately inviting, repeated listens should put you in the right sort of mood to appreciate its own distinct take on the "Sextant" sound.

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. At first I had reservations about "Hornets", but over time I have come to appreciate its own blend of organic grooves as well. In all, "Sextant" is an excellent album, even if not a strictly prog one: 4 stars.

 Dis Is Da Drum by HANCOCK, HERBIE album cover Studio Album, 1994
3.10 | 13 ratings

Dis Is Da Drum
Herbie Hancock Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

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 | 40 ratings

Takin' Off
Herbie Hancock Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

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.

 Jammin' With Herbie [Aka: Rock Your Soul; Voyager] by HANCOCK, HERBIE album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.21 | 9 ratings

Jammin' With Herbie [Aka: Rock Your Soul; Voyager]
Herbie Hancock Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

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
3.81 | 53 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
4.09 | 69 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.
 The Herbie Hancock Group: Head Hunters by HANCOCK, HERBIE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.86 | 194 ratings

The Herbie Hancock Group: 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!

 The Herbie Hancock Group: Head Hunters by HANCOCK, HERBIE album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.86 | 194 ratings

The Herbie Hancock Group: 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.

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

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