“Contrary to Monster, which was conceptualized as a coherent dance album with a core recording band, Mr. Hands collects a number of musical explorations with distinctly different groups of players. “Spiraling Prism” features Leon “Ndugu” Chancler, Byron Miller, and Bill Summers, and is imbued with the warm sounds of the Prophet and Oberheim polyphonic synthesizers.
For the Afro-Caribbean jazz of “Calypso,” Hancock plays synthesized steel drums in an otherwise acoustic setting with Ron Carter, Tony Williams, and Sheila Escovedo, while the funk of “Just Around The Corner” bursts with thick synth stabs, Wah Wah Watson’s funky rhythm guitar, Freddie Washington’s signature slap bass, and Alphonse Mouzon’s full throttle drumming. “4 A.M.” reunites Hancock and Jaco Pastorius for inventive jazz-fusion with Harvey Mason and Bill Summers.
The penultimate track, “Shiftless Shuffle,” was recorded during the Head Hunters sessions in 1973, and displays the same electrifying, fervent Fender Rhodes soloing as Head Hunters’ “Sly.” For the closing track, “Textures,” Hancock recorded all the instruments himself, crafting a delicate collage of textures with rich colors, much like a painter.” – 2013 Sony Box Set Liner Notes
Produced by David Rubinson and Friends, Inc. and Herbie Hancock.
Recorded 1980 by Fred Catero, Leslie Ann Jones, and Bob Kovach at The Automatt, S.F.; Filmways/Heider Recording, S.F.; Village Recorders, L.A.
Mixed by David Rubinson at The Automatt, S.F.
Originally released October 1980 as Columbia LP JC-36578
Billboard chart info: Pop 117, 6 wks; R&B 46, 11 wks; Jazz 4
- 1. Spiraling Prism 6:26
- 2. Calypso 6:45
- 3. Just Around The Corner 7:37
- 4. 4 AM 5:23
- 5. Shiftless Shuffle 7:11
- 6. Textures 6:38
- Herbie Hancock (Synthesizers, Keyboards)
- Herbie Hancock (Composer, Modified Apple II Computer)
- Herbie Hancock (All Instruments on "Textures")
- Byron Miller (Bass)
- Leon "Ndugu" Chancler (Drums)
- Bill Summers (Percussion)
- Ron Carter (Bass)
- Tony Williams (Drums)
- Sheila Escovedo (Percussion)
- Wah Wah Watson (Guitar)
- Freddie Washington (Bass)
- Alphonse Mouzon (Drums)
- Jaco Pastorius (Bass)
- Harvey Mason (Drums)
- Bennie Maupin (Tenor Saxophone)
- Paul Jackson (Bass)
- David Rubinson (Producer, Mixing)
- Fred Catero (Engineer)
- Leslie Ann Jones (Engineer)
- Bob Kovach (Engineer)