Blessed are the iconclasts for they do not give a damn...
Herbie Hancock on Blue Note
Takin’ Off - 1962
My Point Of View - 1963
Inventions And Dimensions - 1963
Empyrean Isles - 1964
Maiden Voyage - 1965
Speak Like A Child - 1968
The Prisoner - 1969
Hancock received considerable attention when, in May 1963, he joined Davis’s Second Great Quintet. Davis personally sought out Hancock, whom he saw as one of the most promising talents in jazz. The rhythm section Davis organized was young but effective, comprising bassist Ron Carter, 17-year-old drummer Williams, and Hancock on piano. After George Coleman and Sam Rivers each took a turn at the saxophone spot, the quintet would gel with Wayne Shorter on tenor saxophone.
While in Davis’s band, Hancock also found time to record dozens of sessions for the Blue Note label, both under his own name and as a sideman with other musicians such as Shorter, Williams, Grant Green, Bobby Hutcherson, Rivers, Byrd, Kenny Dorham, Hank Mobley, Lee Morgan and Freddie Hubbard.
His albums Empyrean Isles (1964) and Maiden Voyage (1965) were to be two of the most famous and influential jazz LPs of the 1960s, winning praise for both their innovation and accessibility. Empyrean Isles featured the Davis rhythm section of Hancock, Carter and Williams with the addition of Hubbard on cornet, while Maiden Voyage also added former Davis saxophonist Coleman (with Hubbard remaining on trumpet). Both albums are regarded as among the principal foundations of the post-bop style.
Hancock also recorded several less-well-known but still critically acclaimed albums with larger ensembles – My Point of View (1963), Speak Like a Child (1968) and The Prisoner (1969) featured flugelhorn, alto flute and bass trombone. 1963’s Inventions and Dimensions was an album of almost entirely improvised music, teaming Hancock with bassist Paul Chambers and two Latin percussionists, Willie Bobo and Osvaldo “Chihuahua” Martinez.
During this period, Hancock also composed the score to Michelangelo Antonioni’s film Blowup (1966), the first of many soundtracks he recorded in his career.
My long-time followers will be aware of my antipathy towards the Columbia Jazz Masterpieces series. Despite the many faults found within the series, I have to admit… it’s still jazz and I like it.
Thelonious Monk and Sonny Rollins Quartet - More Than You Know (1954)
Personnel: Sonny Rollins (tenor sax), Thelonious Monk (piano), Tommy Potter (bass), Art Taylor (drums)
from the album ‘MOVING OUT’ (Prestige)