Gathered here for the first time are all of the recordings Herbie Hancock (b. 1940) made for Columbia Records U.S. and CBS/Sony Records Japan between 1972 and 1988–a stunningly creative, 17-year period, yielding 31 albums. Eight of the titles in this set have never been released outside of Japan. This collection of 34 newly-remastered CDs showcases Herbie's virtuosity in a dazzling display of musical styles. It is a testament to his fearlessness, innovation, and ever-evolving curiosity, as well as his significant commercial success–the platinum certifications of Head Hunters and Future Shock.
From the start of his solo recording career in 1962, when he was 22, Herbie Hancock was a very original pianist/composer. Strangely enough, despite the explorative nature of much of his music, Hancock was also quite accessible, recording the future hit "Watermelon Man" on his debut date. This six-CD set is a must for all jazz collectors who do not already own Hancock's Blue Note albums, for the box contains the complete contents of the pianist's albums Takin' Off, My Point of View, Inventions & Dimensions, Empyrean Isles, Maiden Voyage, Speak Like a Child, and The Prisoner.
Encountering the name Woody Shaw (1944-1989) in print or conversation, it's not uncommon for a phrase much like "the last original trumpet voice" to follow. For Shaw was just such a player: a daring horn stylist with an utterly personal and technically advanced approach that has yet to be matched since his untimely death.
THE COMPLETE COLUMBIA STUDIO RECORDINGS compiles all of Miles Davis' collaborations with composer/arranger Gil Evans. Included are the original and alternate versions of the four albums that Davis and Evans made together–MILES AHEAD, PORGY AND BESS, SKETCHES OF SPAIN and QUIET NIGHTS–as well as various outtakes and unreleased tracks. More than half of the material is previously unreleased. THE COMPLETE COLUMBIA STUDIO RECORDINGS won 1997 Grammy Awards for Best Historical Album, Best Album Notes (by George Avakian, Bob Belden, Bill Kirchner and Phil Schaap), and Best Recording Package - Boxed.
Seven Steps: The Complete Columbia Recordings of Miles Davis 1963-1964 is an anomaly among the retrospective sets that have been issued from the late artist's catalog. It does not focus on particular collaborations (Miles with Coltrane, Gil Evans, the second quintet), complete sessions of historic albums (Bitches Brew, In a Silent Way, and Jack Johnson), or live runs (Plugged Nickel and Montreux). Instead, it is a portrait of the artist in flux, in the space between legendary bands, when he was looking for a new mode of expression, trying to find the band that would help him get there. These seven CDs begin after the demise of bands that included John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, Bill Evans, Paul Chambers, Jimmy Cobb, and Wynton Kelly, after his landmark Gil Evans period, and even after his attempts at creating a new band with everyone from Frank Strozier and Harold Mabern to Sonny Rollins and J.J. Johnson.
Herbie Hancock never really focused on solo piano. However, this 1978 release, which was previously only available in Japan, is a rare gem in the Hancock discography. Thanks … Full Descriptionto this overdue 2004 reissue, the listener is invited to explore the musical mind of this pianist in an up-close and intimate setting. All 11 tracks on THE PIANO are quite reflective, with Hancock employing many rich chordal textures and winding melodic gestures throughout. On "My Funny Valentine," Hancock combines the harmonic palette of Bill Evans with his own distinctive phrasing and unexpected modal shifts. His own composition "Blue Otani" is the only bluesy piece on this disc, and here Hancock slyly suggests the stride piano tradition without ever really playing in this style.
Having long since established his funk credentials, Herbie Hancock continues the direction of Head Hunters and its U.S. successors here, welding himself to the groove on electric keyboards while Bennie Maupin again shines sardonic beams of light on a variety of reeds. In "Doin' It," the most successful track, Hancock makes a more overt bid for the dancefloor, for the tune is basically one long irresistible groove with a very commercial-sounding bridge.