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Herbie Hancock - Herbie Hancock CD (album) cover


Herbie Hancock


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.00 | 1 ratings

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Easy Money
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars This is a vinyl double record collection of Herbie Hancock's 60s jazz recordings with Blue Note before he moved on to playing fusion with his Sextet on the Warner label. Herbie's 60s jazz is some of the finest you'll ever hear and has enough influences from both 20th century composers and tough club oriented RnB to qualify as a sort of proto-jazz fusion. There is a problem with this album though, and that is it's overall sound. I'm no audiophile, but the sound of this double set has always seemed over compressed to my ears. It's almost similar to those Reader's Digest easy listening collections, although not quite that bad. I guess they were shooting for a background music effect here, and Hancock's 60s music may be the ultimate in sophisticated bachelor pad ambience, but most of this is a lot more adventurous than your standard dinner jazz. I've played cuts from this compilation back-to-back with versions from the original albums on which they appeared and there does seem to be a difference in sound.

On the plus side, the selection of tunes on here is excellent and the listener is given a broad overview of Herbie's many 60s jazz styles. Tunes like Cantaloupe Island represent the lean Memphis flavored backbeat of Herbie's hard bop RnB jazz, while sprawling almost avant-garde type arrangements such as The Prisoner show Hancock's interest in modern composers. In between you get Debussy flavored lounge-core classics like Speak Like a Child with Herbie's trademark impressionistic orchestrations for mini- jazz orchestra. This two record set is a dream collection of tunes for the aspiring acid jazz or rare groove DJ. Of course the constant throughout all of this is Herbie's piano playing, some of the finest recorded in the 20th century.

This double set still shows up in a lot of used record stores and thrift stores, and usually for a bargain price. If you don't mind the compressed sound this is an excellent sampling of Hancock during his Blue Note years. If by contrast you do find some pleasure in the background nature of this pressing, then make some cosmic martinis and let this music drift you away on a cloud of altered 13th chords orchestrated with acoustic piano, alto flute and French horn.

Easy Money | 3/5 |


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