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Herbie Hancock - Future 2 Future CD (album) cover


Herbie Hancock


Jazz Rock/Fusion

2.13 | 15 ratings

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Easy Money
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars In 2001 drumnbass rhythms had already been around for about seven years, still the time was ripe for one of the big names in progressive fusion to step forward and weld those rhythms to jazz and make the ultimate 'futuristic' groove album. Having mixed cutting edge electronics with jazz to great success three previous times in his career, Herbie Hancock seemed like a natural for the job. Add to that a call to his former producer Bill Laswell, who helped Herbie's electro-boogie/hip/hop jazz single Rockit become a smash hit and we have the recipe for sure success, ..right? Wrong! ...something went amiss here, this project started out with the best intentions; marrying Africa's rich musical traditions with the latest beats and technology with the help of a star-studded cast from the worlds of jazz, techno and RnB, unfortunately everyone forgot one very key ingredient, really good songs.

This album is just one big disappointment from start to finish. All the cool beats and special guests in the world can't hide the fact that there are no songs, melodies, hooks or choruses of any kind to be found anywhere on here. Throughout this album pretentious spoken word segments promise great things, but like the emprorer's fabled clothing nothing ever materializes. Most of the songs consist of prominent programmed beats that seem to exist by themselves in complete ignorance of the music joined to said beats, said music usually consists of rather vague sampled jazz orchestrations that seem superfluous to the provided beat.

It's not that this music is too new and modern for these old jazz ears, I love new music and have followed DJ music and culture since Kurtis told us about the breaks. Newness and unfamiliarity are not the problems here, a genuine lack of 'music' is.

Not all is lost here, Chaka Khan's The Essence holds up well as Chaka makes her stake in the world of neo-soul, a genre that is perfect for her raspy voice and nasal delivery. Rob Swift's skills on a pair of turntables is a pure delight on This is Rob Swift. Techno wiz Carl Craig and Herbie create a thick Afro-futuristic landscape on Herbero Part I, and Ionosphere mixes a Herbie neo-classical orchestrated melody with some nice electric piano and some mad drumnbass beats, but once again the music seems to be added after the fact and does not really blend with the beat at all.

So much potential was wasted here, certainly Herbie and Laswell and their incredible list of friends could have created the ultimate futuristic blend of electronics, Africa and jazz, but instead they moved too quickly and did not take the time to write something that would last beyond the trendiness of the moment.

Easy Money | 2/5 |


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