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Jazz Africa

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Jazz Africa


“Recorded in Los Angeles’ Wiltern Theatre one December afternoon as part of the Jazzvisions project, this was released four years later almost as an afterthought to the series — and even many of Hancock’s electric music fans weren’t aware it was out. A pity, for this is one of the great unheralded Herbie Hancock recordings, a rock-’em, sock-’em, live tour de force that fuses Hancock’s electric keyboard work, Foday Musa Suso’s kora, incantory vocals, and scraping violin, and a thundering African/Caribbean rhythm section.

The CD opens and ends quietly with the delicate, folk-like music introduced on Village Life but the record is dominated by two lengthy, madly swinging workouts for Hancock, Suso and the rhythm section, which is anchored by Santana’s ageless Cuban-born percussionist Armando Peraza.

Though not all of the concert is included here (the laserdisc and VHS versions contain more music), the CD does convey a good deal of the incredible energy level of the live event, where Hancock looked and played like a man possessed. This was a real breakthrough for Hancock, but alas, this perpetual chameleon has yet to pursue this stimulating direction further.” – Allmusic

Digitally recorded live at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles, CA in 24-Track Sony Digital Stereo by the Record Plant remote truck.

Mixed and edited at the Record Plant.

All songs by Foday Musa Suso, Suso Music / BMI

Herbie Hancock appears courtesy of CBS Records

Lorimar Telepictures Presents A Jack Lewis Production

© 1990 PolyGram records, Inc.

℗ 1987 PolyGram records, Inc.

Manufactured and Marketed by PolyGram Classics and Jazz, a division of PolyGram records, Inc., New York, New York.
Printed in U.S.A.

Part of the Jazzvisions™ series.

  • 1. Kumbasora 6:47
  • 2. Debo 17:16
  • 3. Cigarette Lighter 13:14
  • 4. Jimbasing 7:50
  • Herbie Hancock (Keyboards)
  • Foday Musa Suso (Kora, Vocals, Composer)
  • Adam Rudolph (Percussion)
  • Aiyb Dieng (Percussion)
  • Armando Peraza (Percussion)
  • Joe Thomas (Bass)
  • Hamid Drake (Drums, Percussion)
  • Abdul Hakeem (Guitar)
  • Jack Lewis (Producer)
  • Joel 'The Octopus' Moss (Recording Engineer, Mixing Engineer)
  • Chris Thompson (Art Direction)
  • David Lau (Design)
V.S.O.P. The Quintet: 5 Stars

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V.S.O.P. The Quintet: 5 Stars

CBS/Sony Japan

A couple of days after its appearance at the Live Under The Sky festival, the V.S.O.P. band recorded its first and only studio album in Tokyo’s CBS/Sony studios. The album is restricted to a total of four tracks, none of which the band had ever performed live. The opener, “Skagly,” is a groove-dominated Freddie Hubbard composition, which Hubbard went on to record a few months later in a jazz-funk setting under his own name (Skagly, 1980).

Hancock’s “Finger Painting” and Williams’ “Mutants On The Beach” find the band swinging with usual delight. The final track, Wayne Shorter’s “Circe,” is an impressionistic ballad with Shorter’s sax explorations sailing over Carter’s softly played bass vamp and Hancock’s trickling piano lines. Five Stars marked the final recorded output of the V.S.O.P. band with this line-up.

Though much of the band’s magic came from its instantaneous communication with a live audience at packed concert venues, this album also demonstrates the unique friendship and musical connection between these “five stars.” – 2013 Sony Box Set Liner Notes

Produced by David Rubinson.

Recorded July 29, 1979 by Tomoo Suzuki at CBS/Sony Studios, Tokyo.

Mixed by David Rubinson.

Originally released December 5, 1979 as CBS/Sony (Japan) LP 30AP-1036

Note: The original Japanese LP release of this album in 1979 contained tracks 1-4. For some reason, as far as can be determined, all CD issues of this album used the alternate takes of “Skagly” (track 5) and “Finger Painting” (track 6).

  • 1. Skagly [Original LP Version] 9:58
  • 2. Finger Painting [Original LP Version] 6:45
  • 3. Mutants On The Beach 11:04
  • 4. Circe 4:32
  • 5. Skagly [CD Version] 10:15
  • 6. Finger Painting [CD Version] 6:44
  • Herbie Hancock (Piano, Composer)
  • Freddie Hubbard (Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Composer)
  • Wayne Shorter (Tenor Sax, Composer)
  • Ron Carter (Bass, Composer)
  • Tony Williams (Drums, Composer)
  • David Rubinson (Producer, Mixing Engineer)
  • Tomoo Suzuki (Recording Engineer)
Jo Jo Dancer

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Jo Jo Dancer

Columbia Pictures

“A dramatic behind-the-scenes look at show business, Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling stars Richard Pryor as a well-known comedian at the peak of his popularity and the bottom rung of his self-esteem. Jo Jo has it all – Hollywood stardom, movie roles, platinum records. But the price he pays for fame and fortune is too great. He buckles under the pressures of success and suffers a life-threatening accident.

Forced to examine his life, the film follows Jo Jo’s compelling past through four decades – from his upbringing in a brothel, to classic comedy performances in cellar nightclubs, to ultimate stardom as a rowdy, irreverent comic. This film marks Pryor’s directing debut with his personal vision of one man’s odyssey of triumph and tragedy.” – Original Release Liner Notes

  • Richard Pryor (Producer, Director, Actor)
  • Jerry Wexler (Music Supervision)
  • Herbie Hancock (Music, Composer)
Death Wish

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Death Wish


“Herbie Hancock extends the reach of his Head Hunters – vintage electric music into the soundtrack field, with some switchbacks to earlier styles and old-fashioned movie suspense music thrown into the eclectic mix. Jerry Peters provides the requisite orchestral backgrounds, and the wah-wah guitar licks give some indication as to where Herbie’s funk music would be going in the future. The main title music is the best track — tense, streaked with Hancock’s echo-delayed electric piano and understated orchestrations…..the results are, in general, more intriguing than usual for the film genre.” – Allmusic Review

“In the spring of 1974, Hancock received a call from film director Michael Winner, who asked him to compose the score for Death Wish, a film in which an architect (played by Charles Bronson) takes to vigilantism after a gang of thugs murders his wife and rapes his daughter. Winner’s girlfriend had recommended Hancock for the job on the basis of the omnipresent LP Head Hunters. This was his third film score after Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow Up (1966) and Ivan Dixon’s The Spook Who Sat By The Door (1973).

The personnel on the recording date included the Head Hunters members and a group of distinguished session musicians. Among them was guitarist Melvin Ragin, also known as Wah Wah Watson, whom Hancock had first met at the recording sessions for Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On, and who went on to play on a number of later Hancock albums. Parts of the score were arranged and conducted by fellow keyboarder and composer Jerry Peters.” – Bob Belden, 2013 Sony Box Set Liner Notes

  • 1. Death Wish (Main Title) 6:15
  • 2. Joanna's Theme 4:46
  • 3. Do A Thing 2:14
  • 4. Paint Her Mouth 2:17
  • 5. Rich Country 3:47
  • 6. Suite Revenge 9:25
  • 7. Ochoa Knose 2:09
  • 8. Party People 3:33
  • 9. Fill Your Hand 6:16
  • Herbie Hancock (Composer, Piano, Arranger)
  • Herbie Hancock (Fender Rhodes, Hohner D6 Clavinet)
  • Herbie Hancock (Conductor)
  • Herbie Hancock (ARP Odyssey, ARP Soloist)
  • Herbie Hancock (ARP 2600, Vocals)
  • Herbie Hancock (ARP String Ensemble)
  • Jerry Peters (Conductor, Arranger)
  • The Headhunters (Musicians)
  • David Rubinson (Producer)
  • Fred Catero (Engineer)
  • George Horn (Mastering)

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“A year after the 1978 Chick Corea/Herbie Hancock duo tour was documented on a two-LP Columbia album, An Evening with Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea, Corea’s label, Polydor, issued its own two-LP collection of extracts from the Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Ann Arbor concerts. With both artists still selling lots of electric records then, it was feasible to do so — and the two double sets served as massive ripostes to those who accused the two pianists of abandoning jazz per se in favor of filthy electronic lucre.

Fortunately, there was enough worthwhile, often brilliant material on the tapes for both albums, with only one duplication of repertoire. The sole repeated item, the medley of Hancock’s “Maiden Voyage” and Corea’s “La Fiesta,” differs noticeably from the version on the Columbia album. For one thing, it clocks in seven and a half minutes shorter at 27 and a half minutes. For another, “Maiden Voyage” is developed more elaborately and “La Fiesta” incorporates more touches from the avant-garde and generates a little more heat.

Indeed, the Polydor album seems to have been programmed with more of a classical bent than its companion. Corea’s “Homecoming” comes off like a big, progressive 20th century classical composition, broken up in the center with humorous fury that is followed by a section for prepared piano à la John Cage. “The Hook” develops the prepared piano ideas even further, with plunkings and buzzing strings galore.

And as if the point wasn’t clear by now, Corea and Hancock hammer out a pretty good rendition of the brittle ostinato movement from Bartók’s Mikrokosmos, which doesn’t sound at all out of place with the rest of the program. As on the Columbia album, side three is a solo side, this time with Corea offering his lovely, Spanish-flavored “Bouquet.” – Allmusic Review

Remastered CD Edition Liner Notes:

This is the second album from the heralded Chick Corea – Herbie Hancock concert series of 1978. It is perhaps a comment on our age that among the uniformly laudatory reviews of the concerts, a few writers chose to use the word ‘duel’ as a catchphrase. No term could more distort the quality of the experience created by these two remarkable artists out of (in Chick’s words) “a very basic love for each other and a positive trust for the music that emerged from those nights delivered more than awesome pianistics, more even than a monumental extension of the borders of what has been called ‘Jazz’: the concerts provided a demonstration of the possibilities of joyous, heightened interplay between two free beings. The message was, and is, love and freedom. Duets, yes. Duels, no.

It is also worth noting – in this age of 48-track computerized consoles, studio overdubs and elaborate musical disguise – that these two men both known for their innovative uses of electronics. would choose to sit down with nothing between them and their audiences except a pair of Steinways, and simply play. It is a refreshment, a corrective to jaded ears, and a strong statement in itself. The album, and its companion on Columbia, provide an oasis of clarity in a sea of senseflash. Herbie and Chick have revitalized and restored for us the meaning of the term live performance.

If you position yourself between your two speakers, Chick on your right, Herbie on your left, you will find that you can come very close to the experience of being there for those evenings of genius – enjoying the total effect of the music, and also sitting right in on the crossflow sharing the interaction between the players.

Art and Jazz especially, has always held the promise of the spontaneous, the unexpected, the transcendent. The spirit of play. Chick and Herbie take us once again, in a whole new way, to that magical place. – Tony Cohan

Liner notes by Chick Corea:

What can I say about Herbie Hancock the musician and this duet of ours, except as a poetic attempt:

One And Two

The beginning of the world is One

The beginning of living and exchanging with music is Two

One creates an image as a summary of his feeling now

He pops it in view to Two

While Two has been working at a subtle image of his own.

Two merges his with one’s and tosses it back and becomes audience anticipating what One will do now.

So One lets the new image float in vamp time while decorating the edges with transparent pearls that make you laugh

And Two agrees to let it hang just like that as well as adding a few unique pearls of his own and a transparently pearled floating image co-created by One and Two drift into us and make us feel like the feelings in the floating image plus all the additional frills and spaces we add and the creation grows and enhances

And One can be Two and Two can be One at will and both can be both without ever losing their original eye/I as the beholder of such good fun as this is. – Chick Corea, March 19, 1988

“When this material was first released in 1979, it appeared as a two-LP set. I would like to gratefully thank Chick Corea, who with engineer Bernie Kirsh, cordially agreed to edit two selections – “Maiden Voyage” and “La Fiesta” – so that we might present this music on a single CD.” – Seth Rothstein

  • 1. Homecoming 19:12
  • 2. Ostinato 3:02
  • 3. The Hook 13:30
  • 4. Bouquet 19:22
  • 5. Maiden Voyage 8:26
  • 6. La Fiesta 8:09
  • Herbie Hancock (Composer Piano)
  • Chick Corea (Composer, Piano)
  • Fred Catero (Engineer, Mixing)
  • Les D. Cooper (Remote Recording Crew)
  • Biff Dawes (Remote Recording Crew)
  • Billy Youdelman (Remote Recording Crew)
  • Ray Thompson (Remote Recording Crew)
  • Rory Kaplan (Engineer)
  • Bernie Kirsh (Engineer, Editing)
  • Ellie Hughes (Design)
  • Tom Hughes (Design)
  • Michael Manoogian (Design)
  • Darryl Pitt (Photography)
  • David Rubinson (Mixing, Producer)
The Imagine Project

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The Imagine Project


“Herbie Hancock’s star-studded The Imagine Project was several years in the making, recorded in seven countries with musicians from all over the globe. Hancock’s band with producer/bassist Larry Klein, drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, percussionist Alex Acuña, and guitarist Lionel Loueke is a common denominator. Much of what’s here is interpretations of well-known pop, folk, and soul songs.

There’s a gorgeous reading of Baden Powell’s “Tempo de Amore,” thanks to Lucas Martins’ bassline and Céu’s singing. “Space Captain” by the Derek Trucks-Susan Tedeschi Band — with Hancock and Colaiuta — brings out a much-needed soulful grit to Tedeschi’s vocals, gospelized four-party harmony, and Trucks’ tough slide playing.

Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are a Changin’,” with Lisa Hannigan’s raw, emotive vocals, is underscored by interplay between the Chieftains, Toumani Diabaté’s kora, and Hancock’s piano. The tune moves past its American folk revival beginnings to reflect a global sentiment.

“Tamatant Tilay/Exodus” pairs the nomad Malian guitar band Tinariwen’s song with Bob Marley’s classic. K’naan, Tinariwen, and three members of Los Lobos are all featured on vocals. Tinariwen dominates with Hancock’s funky clavinet pushing against their snaky wall of guitars and ululating singing; it’s the hippest track here.

Klein’s “The Song Goes On,” features Anoushka Shankar, Wayne Shorter, Chaka Khan, and K.S. Chithra with some lyrics translated into Hindi. – Allmusic

Original Album Liner Notes by Herbie Hancock:

“This album was recorded in various countries throughout the world, in multiple languages, and with various international artists in an effort to show the power and beauty of global collaboration as a golden path to peace.

My deepest gratitude to all of you, having contributed with your hearts to this shared goal. My sincere apologies to anyone who may have been inadvertently left out” – Herbie Hancock

The Imagine Project won two Grammy Awards in 2010: ‘Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals’ and ‘Best Improvised Jazz Solo – A Change Is Gonna Come’.

  • 1. Imagine 7:20
  • 2. Don't Give Up 7:29
  • 3. Tempo De Amor 4:44
  • 4. Space Captain 6:56
  • 5. The Times, They Are A Changin' 8:07
  • 6. La Tierra 4:52
  • 7. Tamantant Tilay - Exodus 4:47
  • 8. Tomorrow Never Knows 5:24
  • 9. A Change is Gonna Come 8:48
  • 10. The Song Goes On 7:49
  • Herbie Hancock (Producer, Keyboards)
  • Herbie Hancock (Piano, Background Vocals)
  • Alex Acuna (Percussion)
  • John Alagia (Production)
  • Ibrahim Ag Alhabib (Background Vocals)
  • Abdallah Ag Alhousseyni (Acoustic Guitar)
  • Abdallah Ag Alhousseyni (Background Vocals)
  • Said Ag Ayad (Djembe, Backbround Vocals)
  • Lawrence Azerrad (Design)
  • Danny Barnes (Banjo, Bass, Guitar)
  • Jeff Beck (Guitar)
  • Chris Bolster (Assistant Engineer)
  • Richard Bolster (Assistant Engineer)
  • Richard Bravo (Percussion)
  • Kofi Burbridge (Hammond B3, Vocals)
  • Oteil Burbridge (Bass, Vocals)
  • Rodrigo Campos (Percussion)
  • Denis Caribaux (Engineering)
  • Céu (Vocals)
  • Matt Chamberlain (Drums)
  • Michael Chaves (Guitar)
  • The Chieftains (Vocals)
  • K.S. Chithra (Vocals)
  • Vinnie Colaiuta (Drums, Tambourine)
  • Kevin Conneff (Bodhran)
  • Rodrigo "Funai" Costa (Assistant Engineer)
  • Curumin (Drums)
  • Paulinho da Costa (Percussion)
  • Toumani Diabaté (Kora)
  • Yaya Diarra (Engineer)
  • Fatoumata Diawara (Vocals)
  • Larry Goldings (Hammond B3)
  • Bernie Grundman (Mastering)
  • Roland Guillotel (Engineering)
  • Helik Hadar (Engineering, Mixing)
  • Elega Ag Hamid (Guitar)
  • Elega Ag Hamid (Background Vocals)
  • Jessica Hancock (Production Coordination)
  • Jessica Hancock (Background Vocals)
  • Lisa Hannigan (Vocals)
  • David Hidalgo (Vocals)
  • The Hill-Tones (Background Vocals)
  • Graham Hope (Assistant Engineer)
  • Shantau Hudikar (Engineer)
  • India.Arie (Vocals)
  • Anand Iyer (Second Engineer)
  • Juanes (Producer, Arrangement, Vocals)
  • Manu Katché (Drums)
  • Bhawai Shankar Kathak (Pakhawaj Drum)
  • Seán Keane (Fiddle)
  • Alan Kelly (Assistant Engineer)
  • Chaka Khan (Vocals)
  • Abhishek Kandelwal (Assistant Engineer, Pro Tools)
  • Douglas Kirkland (Photography)
  • Andrew Kitchen (Assistant Engineer)
  • Larry Klein (Bass, Keyboards)
  • Larry Klein (Background Vocals)
  • K'naan (Vocals)
  • Konono #1 (Vocals)
  • Rhani Krija (Percussion)
  • Abdallah Ag Lamida "Intidao" (Guitar, Background Vocals)
  • Eyadou Ag Leche (Bass, Background Vocals)
  • John Legend (Vocals)
  • Hugo Legrand (Assistant Engineer)
  • Gustavo Lenza (Assistant Engineer)
  • Frank Lillis (Lyric Translation)
  • Lionel Loueke (Guitar)
  • Los Lobos (Vocals, Guitar)
  • Jim Lowe (Engineer)
  • Conrad Lozano (Vocals)
  • Lucas Martins (Bass)
  • Dave Matthews (Guitar, Vocals)
  • Mike Mattison (Vocal Arrangement, Vocals)
  • Ndofusu Mbiyavanga (Percussion)
  • Wagner Bigu Meirinho (Assistant Engineer)
  • Cesar Mejia (Engineer)
  • Marcus Miller (Producer, Bass, Bass Arrangement)
  • Bill Mims (Assistant Engineer)
  • Mawangu Mingiedi (Likembe)
  • Alan Mintz (Background Vocals)
  • Matt Molloy (Flute)
  • Paddy Moloney (Tin Whistle, Uillean Pipes)
  • James Morrison (Vocals)
  • Melinda Murphy (Executive Producer, Production Coordinator)
  • Áine Ní Ghlinn (Lyric Translation)
  • Chris Owens (Assistant Engineer, Pro Tools)
  • Dean Parks (Guitar)
  • Dridhar Parthasarthy (Mridangam)
  • Louie Pérez (Vocals)
  • Pink (Vocals)
  • Maria Ruvalcaba (Background Vocals)
  • Jaideep Sahni (Translation)
  • Oumou Sangare (Vocals)
  • Brian Scheuble (Engineer)
  • Eric Schilling (Engineer)
  • Seal (Vocals)
  • Anoushka Shankar (Sitar)
  • Wayne Shorter (Soprano Saxophone)
  • Jaime Sickora (Assistant Engineer)
  • Patrick Spain (Assistant Engineer)
  • Satyajit Talwakar (Tabla)
  • Ibrahim Tangara (Engineer)
  • Susan Tedeschi (Vocals)
  • Tinariwen (Vocals)
  • Bobby Tis (Engineer)
  • Fernando Tobon (Guitar)
  • Alhassane Ag Touhami (Arrangement, Guitar, Vocals)
  • Derek Trucks (Producer, Guitar, Guitar Arrangement)
  • Visi Vincent (Drums)
  • Marty Wall (Engineer)
  • Pete Wallace (Keyboards)
  • George Whitty (Keyboards, Sound Design)
  • Tal Wilkenfeld (Bass)
  • Bill Winn (Engineer)
  • Richard Woodcraft (Engineer)
River: The Joni Letters

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River: The Joni Letters


When Herbie Hancock released Possibilities (2005), a collaborative effort that paired the great pianist and composer with a group of pop and rock stocks from the world over, it was obvious the restless master was entering a new phase of his long career. In that context, River: The Joni Letters makes perfect sense.

Hancock and his fine band — Lionel Loueke (guitar), Wayne Shorter (soprano and tenor saxophones), Dave Holland (bass), Vinnie Colaiuta (drums) — prepare a series of instrumentals and vocal interpretations of the songs of Joni Mitchell. The vocalists here include those who were inspired by Mitchell, namely Norah Jones, Corinne Bailey Rae, and Mitchell herself on one number (her own recording, Shine, was released on the same day), and some of her peers in the pop world, including Tina Turner and Leonard Cohen. Cohen’s connection to the songwriter is direct in that they are both Canadians and both came up playing clubs and venues in the then new “folk” scene.

But Hancock understands something implicit about Mitchell: she was never — ever — a folksinger. Her compositions have always walked wildly adventurous rhythmic and harmonic terrain. Indeed, she has played with jazz musicians solidly since the 1970s, beginning with the L.A. record, The Hissing of Summer Lawns, and toured with jazz groups, including the all-star band assembled for Shadows and Light that included Pat Metheny, Jaco Pastorius, Lyle Mays, Don Alias, and Michael Brecker (Shorter played on a number of those dates as well).

Indeed, when Mitchell asked no less than Robbie Robertson and the Band to back her on a tour, they had to excuse themselves because they simply couldn’t find a way to play behind her. The material here doesn’t walk the line between pop and jazz — something Hancock is very comfortable doing. This is a jazz record with vocals. The album’s ten tracks are, for the most part, programmed for a vocal tune, followed by an instrumental. This holds true with only one exception in that the disc’s first two songs are vocals. First there’s the lovely, spooky, smoky “Court and Spark,” sung by Jones, followed immediately by the ethereal yet from-the-gut version of “Edith and the Kingpin,” sung by Turner (it should be noted here that she is in fine voice, since she hadn’t been heard from in quite a while).

In this latter cut, it’s a testament to the singer, the writer, and Hancock, how deeply soulful this performance is. Turner is one of the great soul singers, but this ballad lends itself to another kind of reading and is therefore radically reinterpreted here with Turner’s trademark phrasing, and the restraint doesn’t give up an ounce of the emotion in it.

The instrumentals begin with “Both Sides Now,” which is harmonically rearranged by Hancock and indeed feels like it is being played from the inside out. Shorter’s meaty yet understated tenor solo is reminiscent of the great tenderness of Ben Webster. It’s utterly gorgeous. The shimmering “Sweet Bird” is hiked up a notch and really begins to cook about a third of the way through without losing any of the song’s naturally dreamy quality. Again, Shorter handles the lyric lines on his tenor with real grace. Hancock’s wonderfully large chromatic interplay in both his chords and right-handed lines from the middle register are achingly beautiful.

The final two instrumentals on the set are surprises, but they are placed here, perhaps, because they were inspirational to Mitchell. The first is a fine reading of the Edgar de Lange/Duke Ellington/Irving Mills tune “Solitude,” a sweet, tender ballad that nonetheless contains some unusual moments in its drifting structure and in its changes. The latter is Shorter’s classic “Neferititi,” written while both he and Hancock were with Miles Davis in the second quintet.

It didn’t sound like this then, but that’s the beauty of Shorter’s best work: it can be revisioned a hundred times over in so many different ways yet is unmistakably his. The other vocal performances here are basically stellar. Rae’s version of the title cut offers a completely different dimension of her voice. The soul feel is still there — and she pushes it into the grooves of the tune. But her clipping of her lines at the end, making them so clean — especially in the way they interact with Shorter’s soprano — is rather stunning.

The hinge of the set is Mitchell’s performance of a song she wrote with Larry Klein (who co-produced the album with Hancock and has been Mitchell’s producer for ages). Her voice has lowered a bit after a lifetime of cigarette smoking and age, but she’s lost none of her power. Her unique phrasing and ever-shifting rhythmic invention brings the listener back to why exactly this recording makes so much sense! She is a jazz singer and always has been. This band lends even more weight to that argument. The nearly seductive interplay between Hancock’s and Loueke’s six-string fills and her voice is almost erotic.

Luciana Souza’s “Amelia” is, while hauntingly gorgeous, the most outside performance on the record. Her voice is closest in some ways to Mitchell’s own in timbre, but her way of holding syllables until they melt into the ones that follow adds space and texture to the band’s accompaniment. She is one of them, not in front of them.

Finally, of course, there is Cohen, the only male vocalist on this collection. He doesn’t even try to sing. Instead, accompanied only by Hancock, he recites “The Jungle Line” as poetry. Perhaps because Cohen is a poet as well as a songwriter, he is able to offer a completely new interpretation out of the tune. He allows the words to represent themselves, plaintively reading them as Hancock improvises the melody line, in a modal frame and in a startling array of minor key permutations.

River approaches brilliance; it’s another accomplishment in a career full of them for Hancock. The album doesn’t simply recontextualize Mitchell. Any fan of hers has known that she never comfortably fit the whole singer/songwriter thing anyway. It actually does that more for jazz and pop. He takes a sound that has been floating around since Jones issued her debut album, and roots it deeply in the jazz camp without giving up the immediacy of sophisticated adult pop — which is, in a way, an element of the tradition of jazz itself.

For jazz fans, this is a wonderful new chapter, a new way to hear him (and Shorter). For pop and Mitchell fans, this is a way to step quietly into another world and experience wonders. This CD was nominated for a Grammy award in 2007 for Best Album, Best Contemporary Jazz Album, and Hancock’s improvisation on “Both Sides Now” was also nominated for Best Jazz Instrumental Solo. – Allmusic

River: The Joni Letters won two Grammy Awards in 2007: ‘Album Of The Year’, and ‘Best Contemporary Jazz Album’.

  • 1. Court And Spark 7:36
  • 2. Edith And The Kingpin 6:34
  • 3. Both Sides Now 7:39
  • 4. River 5:27
  • 5. Sweet Bird 8:17
  • 6. The Tea Leaf Prophecy 6:36
  • 7. Solitude 5:44
  • 8. Amelia 7:28
  • 9. Nefertiti 7:32
  • 10. The Jungle Line 5:01
  • Herbie Hancock (Piano, Arranger, Producer)
  • Dave Holland (Bass)
  • Lionel Loueke (Guitar)
  • Vinnie Colaiuta (Drums)
  • Wayne Shorter (Soprano & Tenor Saxophone)
  • Leonard Cohen (Vocals)
  • Norah Jones (Vocals)
  • Joni Mitchell (Composer, Vocals)
  • Corinne Bailey Rae (Vocals)
  • Luciana Souza (Vocals)
  • Tina Turner (Vocals)
  • Steve Chrisanthou (Vocal Engineer)
  • Justin Gerrish (Assistant Engineer)
  • Helix Hadar (Engineer, Mixing)
  • Bernie Grundman (Mastering)
  • Larry Klein (Producer, Composer)
  • Hollis King (Art Direction)
  • Melinda Murphy (Management)
  • Wesley Seidman (Assistant Engineer)
  • Evelyn Morgan (A&R)
  • Kwaku Alston (Photography)

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Vector/Hear Music

Possibilities is a Herbie Hancock adventure record. This ten-cut smorgasbord features the ever restless pianist, composer, and arranger in the company of literally dozens of artists, from pop singers like Christina Aguilera, Sting, and Annie Lennox to rock legends such as Santana and Paul Simon to relative newcomers like John Mayer, Jonny Lang, and Joss Stone, as well as some renowned international performers, such as Angélique Kidjo and Raul Midón in a wide range of songs, styles, and moods.

Hancock cut the record in studios all over the world, all the collaborations were done face to face, not long distance. Session musicians here include everyone from Stevie Wonder (who plays the harmonica solo on the cover of his tune “I Just Called to Say I Love You”), to Santana to Cyro Baptista, Willie Weeks, John Pattitucci, Steven Jordan, and Gina Gershon.

The standout cuts are the sensual read of Leon Russell’s “A Song for You,” sung by Aguilera, Simon’s jazzed-up revisioning of his “I Do It for Your Love,” and Lennox’s read of “Hush, Hush, Hush,” written by Paula Cole. Jazz fans may be disappointed, but pop fans will be delighted; there is a lot here to like.” – Allmusic

  • 1. Stitched Up 5:28
  • 2. Safiatou 5:26
  • 3. A Song For You 7:05
  • 4. I Do It For Your Love 5:59
  • 5. Hush Hush Hush 4:46
  • 6. Sister Moon 6:54
  • 7. When Love Comes To Town 8:42
  • 8. Don't Explain 4:54
  • 9. I Just Called To Say I Love You 5:27
  • 10. Gelo Na Montanha 3:50
  • Herbie Hancock (Piano, Arranger, Producer)
  • Herbie Hancock (Keyboards, Organ)
  • Andy Ackland (Engineer)
  • Christina Aguilera (Vocals)
  • John Alagia (Producer)
  • Trey Anastasio (Composer, Guitar, Vocals)
  • Cyro Baptista (Percussion, Composer)
  • Michael Bearden (Arranger, Keyboards)
  • Douglas Biro (Photography)
  • Niko Bolas (Engineer)
  • Bob Brockman (Mixing, Producer)
  • Teddy Campbell (Drums)
  • Peter J. Carini (Engineer)
  • Dennis Chambers (Drums)
  • Steve Churchyard (Engineer)
  • Nathan East (Bass)
  • Jon Fine (Photography)
  • Shane Fitzsimons (Bass)
  • Yaron Fuchs (Mixing, Producer)
  • Jim Gains (Engineer)
  • Gina Gershon (Jew's Harp)
  • Khaliq Glover (Engineer, Mixing)
  • Bryce Goggin (Producer)
  • Eric Gorman (Engineer)
  • Jamey Haddad (Percussion)
  • Lisa Hannigan (Vocals)
  • James Harrah (Acoustic Guitar)
  • Tal Herzberg (Engineer)
  • Michael Hill (Liner Notes)
  • Ted Jensen (Mastering)
  • Bashiri Johnson (Percussion)
  • Steve Jordan (Drums, Producer)
  • Angélique Kidjo (Vocals)
  • Johnny Lang (Guitar, Vocals)
  • Annie Lennox (Vocals)
  • Peter Lewinson (Drums)
  • Steve Lewinson (Bass)
  • Vyvienne Long (Cello)
  • Lionel Loueke (Guitar, Arranger)
  • Rob Lucas (Producer)
  • David Luke (Engineer)
  • John Mayer (Composer, Guitar, Vocals)
  • Reggie McBride (Bass)
  • Raúl Midon (Guitar, Vocals)
  • Alan Mintz (Producer)
  • Melinda Murphy (A&R, Production Coordination)
  • Dave O'Donnell (Engineer)
  • Pino Palladino (Bass)
  • John Patitucci (Bass)
  • Karl Perazzo (Percussion)
  • John Phillinganes (Drums)
  • Greg Phillinganes (Producer)
  • Greg Phillinganes (Arranger, Keyboards)
  • Paul Rekow (Percussion)
  • Tony Remy (Guitar)
  • Damien Rice (Vocals)
  • Benny Rietveld (Bass)
  • Carlos Santana (Guitar)
  • Jaime Sickora (Engineer)
  • Paul Simon (Producer, Composer)
  • Paul Simon (Vocals, Guitar)
  • Sting (Composer, Vocals)
  • Joss Stone (Vocals)
  • Chester Thompson (Organ)
  • Tomo (Drums)
  • Willie Weeks (Bass)
  • John "Sly" Wilson (Engineer)
  • Stevie Wonder (Composer, Harmonica)
Directions In Music

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Directions In Music


“A double-milestone year for jazz, 2001 marked the 75th anniversary of the births of both Miles Davis and John Coltrane. With that in mind, Herbie Hancock went on tour with a quintet modeled after his V.S.O.P. bands of the ’70s and ’80s and the Tribute to Miles band of the ’90s, which in turn were modeled after the 1965-1968 Miles Davis Quintet.

Brecker provides the most fervent individual statement with an unaccompanied rendition of “Naima” that amounts to a virtual encyclopedia of tenor saxophone technique. Roy Hargrove does a serviceable job on trumpet and flügelhorn, trying to fill some heavy shoes, and as accomplished as the rhythm team of John Patitucci (bass) and Brian Blade (drums) is, you miss the irreplaceable combustion of Ron Carter and especially the late Tony Williams (compare the original Davis recording of “The Sorcerer” with this inward, less dynamic, less driving version).

The most strikingly reworked cover tune is a slow, drawn-out, mournful take on “Impressions,” almost an elegy for Coltrane, and Brecker delivers the eulogy with fire in the belly. There is new material from Hargrove (“The Poet”), Brecker (“D Trane”), and the three headliners (“Misstery”), none of which expands much beyond the parameters of the Davis and Coltrane models. While this quintet does not kick over old boundaries, it does make good, uncompromisingly intelligent music.” – Allmusic

Directions In Music won two Grammy Awards in 2003: Best Jazz Instrumental Album, and Best Jazz Instrumental Solo for “My Ship”.

Recorded October 21, 2001, Toronto, Canada

  • 1. The Sorcerer 8:54
  • 2. The Poet 6:36
  • 3. So What - Impressions 12:51
  • 4. Misstery 8:17
  • 5. Naima 7:29
  • 6. Transition 10:26
  • 7. My Ship 8:41
  • 8. D Trane 15:11
  • Herbie Hancock (Piano)
  • Michael Brecker (Tenor Saxophone)
  • Roy Hargrove (Trumpet, Flugelhorn)
  • John Patitucci (Double Bass)
  • Brian Blade (Drums)
  • Doug Doctor (Engineer)
  • Greg Calbi (Mastering)
  • Frank Finistauri (Engineer)
  • Todd Fraracci (Producer)
  • Rob Griffin (Engineer)
  • Hollis King (Art Direction)
  • Hans Neleman (Photography)
  • Jay Newland (Mixing)
  • Jason Olaine (Producer)
  • Darryl Pitt (Photography)
  • Anthony Ruotolo (Assistant Engineer)
  • Ron Skinner (Assistant Engineer)
  • Jim Steele (Assistant Producer)
  • George Whitty (Digital Editing)
  • Isabelle Wong (Design)

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Transparent, Columbia

“One of Herbie Hancock’s greatest attributes is his ability to take a contemporary form of music and add his own unique perspective through his recordings. Future 2 Future is no exception to the rule.

Teaming with Bill Laswell, Hancock recruits some of the most forward-thinking musicians in music for Future 2 Future. The contributions of electronic music pioneer Carl Craig, vocal diva Chaka Khan, drum’n’bass producer A Guy Called Gerald, as well as jazz legends Jack DeJohnette and Wayne Shorter make the album feel like a cross between modern electronica and world music.

While this record is most definitely not an album for jazz purists, those with an ear for modern electronic music will find Future 2 Future an enjoyable exercise in watching one of the greats in jazz music redefine himself with the times once again.” – Allmusic

  • 1. Wisdom 1:09
  • 2. Kebero (Part 1) 3:27
  • 3. The Essence 4:48
  • 4. This Is Rob Swift 6:54
  • 5. Black Gravity 5:25
  • 6. Tony Williams 6:04
  • 7. Ionosphere 4:16
  • 8. Alphabeta 5:27
  • 9. Be Still 4:40
  • 10. Virtual Hornets 8:49
  • 11. Kebero (Part 2) 5:02
  • 12. The Essence (DJ Krush Remix) 5:49
  • Herbie Hancock (Keyboards)
  • Wayne Shorter (Tenor & Soprano Saxophone)
  • Bill Laswell (Bass)
  • Charnett Moffett (Acoustic Bass)
  • Jack DeJohnette (Drums)
  • Tony Williams (Drums)
  • Karsh Kale (Drums)
  • Carl Craig (Programming, Beats)
  • GiGi (Vocals)
  • Elenni Davis-Knight (Spoken Vocals)
  • Chaka Khan (Vocals)
  • Rob Swift (Turntables, Programming)
  • A Guy Called Gerald (Programming, Beats)
  • Dana Bryant (Vocals, Words)
  • Imani Uzuri (Vocals)
  • Dave Hampton (Engineer)
  • Gigi On The Beach (Composer)
  • Robert Musso (Enginer)
  • Steven Saporta (Realization)
  • Gerald Simpson (Composer)
  • Michael Fossenkemper (Mastering)