Herbie Hancock

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Herbie Hancock
HERBIE HANCOCK 1999.jpg
Hancock, 1999
Background information
Birth nameHerbert Jeffrey Hancock
Born (1940-04-12) April 12, 1940 (age 79)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Genres Jazz, post-bop, modal jazz, fusion, jazz-funk, electro, classical
Occupation(s)Musician, singer-songwriter, composer, DJ, bandleader, record producer, arranger, actor
Instruments Keyboards
Years active1961–present
Labels Columbia, Blue Note, Warner Bros., Verve
Associated acts Clark Terry, Miles Davis Quintet, Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea, the Headhunters, V.S.O.P., Jaco Pastorius, Joni Mitchell, Howard Jones
Website herbiehancock.com

Herbert Jeffrey Hancock (born April 12, 1940) is an American pianist, keyboardist, bandleader, composer and actor. [1] Hancock started his career with Donald Byrd. He shortly thereafter joined the Miles Davis Quintet, where he helped to redefine the role of a jazz rhythm section and was one of the primary architects of the post-bop sound. In the 1970s, Hancock experimented with jazz fusion, funk, and electro styles.

Donald Byrd American musician

Donaldson Toussaint L'Ouverture Byrd II was an American jazz and rhythm & blues trumpeter and vocalist. A sideman for many other jazz musicians of his generation, Byrd was known as one of the rare bebop jazz musicians who successfully explored funk and soul while remaining a jazz artist. As a bandleader, Byrd was an influence on the early career of Herbie Hancock.

Miles Davis Quintet

The Miles Davis Quintet was an American jazz band from 1955 to early 1969 led by Miles Davis. The quintet underwent frequent personnel changes toward its metamorphosis into a different ensemble in 1969. Most references pertain to two distinct and relatively stable bands: the First Great Quintet from 1955 to 1958; and the Second Great Quintet from late 1964 to early 1969, Davis being the only constant throughout.

Rhythm section group of musicians within a music ensemble or band who provide the underlying rhythm, harmony and beat for the rest of the band

A rhythm section is a group of musicians within a music ensemble or band who provide the underlying rhythm, harmony and pulse of the accompaniment, providing a rhythmic and harmonic reference and "beat" for the rest of the band.

Contents

Hancock's best-known compositions include "Cantaloupe Island", "Watermelon Man" (later performed by dozens of musicians, including bandleader Mongo Santamaría), "Maiden Voyage", "Chameleon", and the singles "I Thought It Was You" and "Rockit". His 2007 tribute album River: The Joni Letters won the 2008 Grammy Award for Album of the Year, only the second jazz album to win the award, after Getz/Gilberto in 1965.

"Cantaloupe Island" is a jazz standard composed by Herbie Hancock and recorded for his 1964 album Empyrean Isles during his early years as one of the members of Miles Davis' 1960s quintet. The musicians for the original 1964 recording were: Hancock (piano), Freddie Hubbard (cornet), Ron Carter (bass) and Tony Williams (drums).

"Watermelon Man" is a jazz standard written by Herbie Hancock for his debut album, Takin' Off (1962).

Mongo Santamaría Cuban musician

Ramón "Mongo" Santamaría Rodríguez was a rumba quinto master and an Afro-Cuban Latin jazz percussionist. In 1950 he moved to New York City where he played with Perez Prado, Tito Puente, Cal Tjader, and the Fania All Stars. He was an integral figure in the fusion of Afro-Cuban rhythms with R&B and soul, paving the way for the boogaloo era of the late 1960s. His 1963 hit rendition of Herbie Hancock's "Watermelon Man" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998.

Early life

Hancock was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Winnie Belle (Griffin), a secretary, and Wayman Edward Hancock, a government meat inspector. [2] His parents named him after the singer and actor Herb Jeffries. [3] He attended the Hyde Park Academy. [4] Like many jazz pianists, Hancock started with a classical music education. [5] He studied from age seven, and his talent was recognized early. Considered a child prodigy, [6] he played the first movement of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 26 in D Major, K. 537 (Coronation) at a young people's concert on February 5, 1952, with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (led by CSO assistant conductor George Schick) at the age of 11. [7]

Chicago City in Illinois, United States

Chicago, officially the City of Chicago, is the most populous city in Illinois, as well as the third most populous city in the United States. With an estimated population of 2,705,994 (2018), it is the most populous city in the Midwest. Chicago is the principal city of the Chicago metropolitan area, often referred to as Chicagoland, and the county seat of Cook County, the second most populous county in the United States. The metropolitan area, at nearly 10 million people, is the third-largest in the United States.

Illinois State of the United States of America

Illinois is a state in the Midwestern and Great Lakes regions of the United States. It has the fifth largest gross domestic product (GDP), the sixth largest population, and the 25th largest land area of all U.S. states. Illinois has been noted as a microcosm of the entire United States. With Chicago in northeastern Illinois, small industrial cities and immense agricultural productivity in the north and center of the state, and natural resources such as coal, timber, and petroleum in the south, Illinois has a diverse economic base, and is a major transportation hub. Chicagoland, Chicago's metropolitan area, encompasses over 65% of the state's population. The Port of Chicago connects the state to international ports via two main routes: from the Great Lakes, via the Saint Lawrence Seaway, to the Atlantic Ocean and from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River, via the Illinois Waterway to the Illinois River. The Mississippi River, the Ohio River, and the Wabash River form parts of the boundaries of Illinois. For decades, Chicago's O'Hare International Airport has been ranked as one of the world's busiest airports. Illinois has long had a reputation as a bellwether both in social and cultural terms and, through the 1980s, in politics.

Herb Jeffries US-American singer and actor

Herb Jeffries was an American actor of film and television and popular music and jazz singer-songwriter, known for his baritone voice.

Through his teens, Hancock never had a jazz teacher, but developed his ear and sense of harmony. He was also influenced by records of the vocal group the Hi-Lo's. He reported that:

The Hi-Los musical ensemble

The Hi-Lo's were a vocal quartet formed in 1953, who achieved their greatest fame in the late 1950s and 1960s. The group's name is a reference to their extreme vocal and physical ranges.

"...by the time I actually heard the Hi-Lo's, I started picking that stuff out; my ear was happening. I could hear stuff and that's when I really learned some much farther-out voicings – like the harmonies I used on Speak Like a Child – just being able to do that. I really got that from Clare Fischer's arrangements for the Hi-Lo's. Clare Fischer was a major influence on my harmonic concept...he and Bill Evans, and Ravel and Gil Evans, finally. You know, that's where it came from." [8]

Clare Fischer American keyboardist, composer, arranger, and bandleader

Douglas Clare Fischer was an American keyboardist, composer, arranger, and bandleader. After graduating from Michigan State University, he became the pianist and arranger for the vocal group the Hi-Lo's in the late 1950s. Fischer went on to work with Donald Byrd and Dizzy Gillespie, and became known for his Latin and bossa nova recordings in the 1960s. He composed the Latin jazz standard "Morning", and the jazz standard "Pensativa". Consistently cited by jazz pianist and composer Herbie Hancock as a major influence, he was nominated for eleven Grammy Awards during his lifetime, winning for his landmark album, 2+2 (1981), the first of Fischer's records to incorporate the vocal ensemble writing developed during his Hi-Lo's days into his already sizable Latin jazz discography; it was also the first recorded installment in Fischer's three-decade-long collaboration with his son Brent. Fischer was also a posthumous Grammy winner for ¡Ritmo! (2012) and for Music for Strings, Percussion and the Rest (2013).

Bill Evans American jazz pianist

William John Evans was an American jazz pianist and composer who mostly played in trios. His use of impressionist harmony, inventive interpretation of traditional jazz repertoire, block chords, and trademark rhythmically independent, "singing" melodic lines continue to influence jazz pianists today.

Maurice Ravel French composer

Joseph Maurice Ravel was a French composer, pianist and conductor. He is often associated with impressionism along with his elder contemporary Claude Debussy, although both composers rejected the term. In the 1920s and 1930s Ravel was internationally regarded as France's greatest living composer.

In 1960, he heard Chris Anderson play just once, and begged him to accept him as a student. [9] Hancock often mentions Anderson as his harmonic guru. [10] Hancock left Grinnell College, moved to Chicago and began working with Donald Byrd and Coleman Hawkins, during which period he also took courses at Roosevelt University [11] (he later graduated from Grinnell with degrees in electrical engineering and music. Grinnell also awarded him an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree in 1972 [7] [12] ). Byrd was attending the Manhattan School of Music in New York at the time and suggested that Hancock study composition with Vittorio Giannini, which he did for a short time in 1960. The pianist quickly earned a reputation, and played subsequent sessions with Oliver Nelson and Phil Woods. He recorded his first solo album Takin' Off for Blue Note Records in 1962. "Watermelon Man" (from Takin' Off) was to provide Mongo Santamaría with a hit single, but more importantly for Hancock, Takin' Off caught the attention of Miles Davis, who was at that time assembling a new band. Hancock was introduced to Davis by the young drummer Tony Williams, a member of the new band.

Grinnell College liberal arts college in Iowa, United States

Grinnell College is a private liberal arts college in Grinnell, Iowa. It was founded in 1846 when a group of New England Congregationalists established the Trustees of Iowa College. Grinnell is known for its rigorous academics, innovative pedagogy, and commitment to social justice.

Coleman Hawkins American jazz saxophonist

Coleman Randolph Hawkins, nicknamed "Hawk" and sometimes "Bean", was an American jazz tenor saxophonist. One of the first prominent jazz musicians on his instrument, as Joachim E. Berendt explained: "there were some tenor players before him, but the instrument was not an acknowledged jazz horn". Hawkins biographer John Chilton described the prevalent styles of tenor saxophone solos prior to Hawkins as "mooing" and "rubbery belches." Hawkins cited as influences Happy Caldwell, Stump Evans, and Prince Robinson, although he was the first to tailor his method of improvisation to the saxophone rather than imitate the techniques of the clarinet. Hawkins' virtuosic, arpeggiated approach to improvisation, with his characteristic rich, emotional, loud, and vibrato-laden tonal style, was the main influence on a generation of tenor players that included Chu Berry, Charlie Barnet, Tex Beneke, Ben Webster, Vido Musso, Herschel Evans, Buddy Tate, and Don Byas, and through them the later tenormen, Arnett Cobb, Illinois Jacquet, Flip Phillips, Ike Quebec, Al Sears, Paul Gonsalves, and Lucky Thompson. While Hawkins became well known with swing music during the big band era, he had a role in the development of bebop in the 1940s.

Roosevelt University

Roosevelt University is a private university with campuses in Chicago, Illinois and Schaumburg, Illinois. Founded in 1945, the university is named in honor of both former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

Career

Miles Davis Quintet (1963–68) and Blue Note Records (1962–69)

Hancock received considerable attention when, in May 1963, [7] 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 gelled with Wayne Shorter on tenor saxophone. This quintet is often regarded as one of the finest jazz ensembles [13] yet.

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.

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 film soundtracks he recorded in his career. As well as feature film soundtracks, Hancock recorded a number of musical themes used on American television commercials for such then well known products as Pillsbury's Space Food Sticks, Standard Oil, Tab diet cola and Virginia Slims cigarettes. Hancock also wrote, arranged and conducted a spy type theme for a series of F. William Free commercials for Silva Thins cigarettes. Hancock liked it so much he wished to record it as a song but the ad agency would not let him. He rewrote the harmony, tempo and tone and recorded the piece as the track "He Who Lives in Fear" from his The Prisoner album of 1969. [14]

Davis had begun incorporating elements of rock and popular music into his recordings by the end of Hancock's tenure with the band. Despite some initial reluctance, Hancock began doubling on electric keyboards including the Fender Rhodes electric piano at Davis's insistence. Hancock adapted quickly to the new instruments, which proved to be important in his future artistic endeavors.

Under the pretext that he had returned late from a honeymoon in Brazil, Hancock was dismissed from Davis's band. In the summer of 1968 Hancock formed his own sextet. However, although Davis soon disbanded his quintet to search for a new sound, Hancock, despite his departure from the working band, continued to appear on Davis records for the next few years. Appearances included In a Silent Way , A Tribute to Jack Johnson and On the Corner .

Fat Albert (1969) and Mwandishi (1971)

Hancock left Blue Note in 1969, signing with Warner Bros. Records. In 1969, Hancock composed the soundtrack for Bill Cosby's animated prime-time television special Hey, Hey, Hey, It's Fat Albert . [15] Music from the soundtrack was later included on Fat Albert Rotunda (1969), an R&B-inspired album with strong jazz overtones. One of the jazzier songs on the record, the moody ballad "Tell Me a Bedtime Story", was later re-worked as a more electronic sounding song for the Quincy Jones album Sounds...and Stuff Like That!! (1978).

Hancock became fascinated with electronic musical instruments. Together with the profound influence of Davis's Bitches Brew (1970), this fascination culminated in a series of albums in which electronic instruments were coupled with acoustic instruments.

Hancock's first ventures into electronic music started with a sextet comprising Hancock, bassist Buster Williams and drummer Billy Hart, and a trio of horn players: Eddie Henderson (trumpet), Julian Priester (trombone), and multireedist Bennie Maupin. Patrick Gleeson was eventually added to the mix to play and program the synthesizers.

The sextet, later a septet with the addition of Gleeson, made three albums under Hancock's name: Mwandishi (1971), Crossings (1972) (both on Warner Bros. Records), and Sextant (1973) (released on Columbia Records); two more, Realization and Inside Out, were recorded under Henderson's name with essentially the same personnel. The music exhibited strong improvisational aspect beyond the confines of jazz mainstream and showed influence from the electronic music of contemporary classical composers.

Hancock's three records released in 1971–73 later became known as the "Mwandishi" albums, so-called after a Swahili name Hancock sometimes used during this era ("Mwandishi" is Swahili for "writer"). The first two, including Fat Albert Rotunda were made available on the 2-CD set Mwandishi: the Complete Warner Bros. Recordings, released in 1994. "Hornets" was later revised on the 2001 album Future2Future as "Virtual Hornets".

Among the instruments Hancock and Gleeson used were Fender Rhodes piano, ARP Odyssey, ARP 2600, ARP Pro Soloist Synthesizer, a Mellotron and the Moog synthesizer III.

From Head Hunters (1973) to Secrets (1976)

Hancock (left) with the Headhunters Herbie Hancock and The Headhunters 1975.JPG
Hancock (left) with the Headhunters

Hancock formed The Headhunters, keeping only Maupin from the sextet and adding bassist Paul Jackson, percussionist Bill Summers, and drummer Harvey Mason. The album Head Hunters (1973) was a hit, crossing over to pop audiences but criticized within his jazz audience. [16] Stephen Erlewine, in a retrospective summary for AllMusic, said, "Head Hunters still sounds fresh and vital three decades after its initial release, and its genre-bending proved vastly influential on not only jazz, but funk, soul, and hip-hop." [17]

Drummer Mason was replaced by Mike Clark, and the band released a second album, Thrust , the following year, 1974. (A live album from a Japan performance, consisting of compositions from those first two Head Hunters releases was released in 1975 as Flood .) This was almost as well received as its predecessor, if not attaining the same level of commercial success. The Headhunters made another successful album called Survival of the Fittest in 1975 without Hancock, while Hancock himself started to make even more commercial albums, often featuring members of the band, but no longer billed as The Headhunters. The Headhunters reunited with Hancock in 1998 for Return of the Headhunters , and a version of the band (featuring Jackson and Clark) continues to play and record.

In 1973, Hancock composed his soundtrack to the controversial film The Spook Who Sat by the Door . Then in 1974, he composed the soundtrack to the first Death Wish film. One of his memorable songs, "Joanna's Theme", was re-recorded in 1997 on his duet album with Shorter, 1+1 .

Hancock's next jazz-funk albums of the 1970s were Man-Child (1975), and Secrets (1976), which point toward the more commercial direction Hancock would take over the next decade. These albums feature the members of the Headhunters band, but also a variety of other musicians in important roles.

From V.S.O.P. (1976–) to Future Shock (1983)

Hancock in 1976 Herbie Hancock 1976.JPG
Hancock in 1976

In 1978, Hancock recorded a duet with Chick Corea, who had replaced him in the Davis band a decade earlier. Hancock also released a solo acoustic piano album, The Piano (1979), which was released only in Japan. (It was released in the US in 2004.) Other Japan-only albums include Dedication (1974), V.S.O.P.'s Tempest in the Colosseum (1977), and Direct Step (1978). VSOP: Live Under the Sky was a VSOP album remastered for the US in 2004 and included a second concert from the tour in July 1979.

From 1978 to 1982, Hancock recorded many albums of jazz-inflected disco and pop music, beginning with Sunlight (featuring guest musicians including Williams and Pastorius on the last track) (1978). Singing through a vocoder, he earned a British hit, [18] "I Thought It Was You", although critics were unimpressed. [19] This led to more vocoder on his next album, Feets, Don't Fail Me Now (1979), which gave him another UK hit in "You Bet Your Love". [18]

Hancock toured with Williams and Carter in 1981, recording Herbie Hancock Trio , a five-track live album released only in Japan. A month later, he recorded Quartet with trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, released in the US the following year. Hancock, Williams, and Carter toured internationally with Wynton Marsalis and his brother, saxophonist Branford Marsalis, in what was known as "VSOP II". This quintet can be heard on Wynton Marsalis's debut album on Columbia (1981). In 1984 VSOP II performed at the Playboy Jazz Festival as a sextet with Hancock, Williams, Carter, the Marsalis Brothers, and Bobby McFerrin.

In 1982 Hancock contributed to the album New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84) by Simple Minds, playing a synthesizer solo on the track "Hunter and the Hunted".

In 1983, Hancock had a pop hit with the Grammy-award-winning single "Rockit" from the album Future Shock . It was the first jazz hip-hop song [20] [21] [22] and became a worldwide anthem for breakdancers and for hip-hop in the 1980s. [23] [24] It was the first mainstream single to feature scratching, and also featured an innovative animated music video, which was directed by Godley and Creme and showed several robot-like artworks by Jim Whiting. The video was a hit on MTV and reached No. 8 in the UK. [25] The video won in five categories at the inaugural MTV Video Music Awards. This single ushered in a collaboration with noted bassist and producer Bill Laswell. Hancock experimented with electronic music on a string of three LPs produced by Laswell: Future Shock (1983), the Grammy Award-winning Sound-System (1984), and Perfect Machine (1988).

During this period, he appeared onstage at the Grammy Awards with Stevie Wonder, Howard Jones, and Thomas Dolby, in a synthesizer jam. Lesser known works from the 1980s are the live album Jazz Africa (1987) and the studio album Village Life (1984), which were recorded with Gambian kora player Foday Musa Suso. Also, in 1985 Hancock performed as a guest on the album So Red the Rose (1985) by the Duran Duran spinoff group Arcadia. He also provided introductory and closing comments for the PBS rebroadcast in the United States of the BBC educational series from the mid-1980s, Rockschool (not to be confused with the most recent Gene Simmons' Rock School series).

In 1986 Hancock performed and acted in the film 'Round Midnight . He also wrote the score/soundtrack, for which he won an Academy Award for Original Music Score. His film work was prolific during the 1980s, and included the scores to A Soldier's Story (1984), Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling (1986), Action Jackson (1988, with Michael Kamen), Colors (1988), and the Eddie Murphy comedy Harlem Nights (1989). Often he would also write music for TV commercials. "Maiden Voyage", in fact, started out as a cologne advertisement. At the end of the Perfect Machine tour, Hancock decided to leave Columbia Records after a 15-plus-year relationship.

1990s to 2000

Hancock live in concert Herbie Hancock-Chameleon Live.jpg
Hancock live in concert

After a break following his departure from Columbia, Hancock, together with Carter, Williams, Shorter, and Davis admirer Wallace Roney, recorded A Tribute to Miles , which was released in 1994. The album contained two live recordings and studio recording songs, with Roney playing Davis's part as trumpet player. The album won a Grammy for best group album. Hancock also toured with Jack DeJohnette, Dave Holland and Pat Metheny in 1990 on their Parallel Realities tour, which included a performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival in July 1990, and scored the 1991 comedy film Livin' Large , which starred Terrence C. Carson.

Hancock's next album, Dis Is da Drum , released in 1994, saw him return to acid jazz. Also in 1994, he appeared on the Red Hot Organization's compilation album Stolen Moments: Red Hot + Cool . The album, meant to raise awareness and funds in support of the AIDS epidemic in relation to the African-American community, was heralded as "Album of the Year" by Time Magazine .

1995's The New Standard found Hancock and an all-star band including John Scofield, DeJohnette and Michael Brecker, interpreting pop songs by Nirvana, Stevie Wonder, the Beatles, Prince, Peter Gabriel and others.

A 1997 duet album with Shorter, entitled 1+1, was successful; the song "Aung San Suu Kyi" winning the Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition. Hancock also achieved great success in 1998 with his album Gershwin's World , which featured readings of George and Ira Gershwin standards by Hancock and a plethora of guest stars, including Wonder, Joni Mitchell and Shorter. Hancock toured the world in support of Gershwin's World with a sextet that featured Cyro Baptista, Terri Lynne Carrington, Ira Coleman, Eli Degibri and Eddie Henderson.

2000 to 2009

In 2001 Hancock recorded Future2Future , which reunited Hancock with Laswell and featured doses of electronica as well as turntablist Rob Swift of The X-Ecutioners. Hancock later toured with the band, and released a concert DVD with a different lineup, which also included the "Rockit" music video. Also in 2001 Hancock partnered with Brecker and Roy Hargrove to record a live concert album saluting Davis and John Coltrane, entitled Directions in Music: Live at Massey Hall , recorded live in Toronto. The threesome toured to support the album, and toured on-and-off through 2005.

Hancock performing in concert, 2006 Herbie Hancock 2006.jpg
Hancock performing in concert, 2006

The year 2005 saw the release of a duet album called Possibilities . It featured duets with Carlos Santana, Paul Simon, Annie Lennox, John Mayer, Christina Aguilera, Sting and others. In 2006 Possibilities was nominated for Grammy Awards in two categories: "A Song for You" (featuring Aguilera) was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance, and "Gelo No Montanha" (featuring Trey Anastasio on guitar) was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Performance, although neither nomination resulted in an award.

Also in 2005 Hancock toured Europe with a new quartet that included Beninese guitarist Lionel Loueke, and explored textures ranging from ambient to straight jazz to African music. Plus, during the summer of 2005, Hancock re-staffed the Headhunters and went on tour with them, including a performance at The Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival. This lineup did not consist of any of the original Headhunters musicians. The group included Marcus Miller, Carrington, Loueke and Mayer. Hancock also served as the first artist in residence for Bonnaroo that summer.

Hancock playing a Roland AX-7 keytar, at The Roundhouse, Camden, London, 2006 Herbie Hancock.jpg
Hancock playing a Roland AX-7 keytar, at The Roundhouse, Camden, London, 2006

Also in 2006 Sony BMG Music Entertainment (which bought out Hancock's old label, Columbia Records) released the two-disc retrospective The Essential Herbie Hancock . This set was the first compilation of his work at Warner Bros., Blue Note, Columbia and Verve/Polygram. This became Hancock's second major compilation of work since the 2002 Columbia-only The Herbie Hancock Box, which was released at first in a plastic 4 × 4 cube then re-released in 2004 in a long box set. Also in 2006, Hancock recorded a new song with Josh Groban and Eric Mouquet (co-founder of Deep Forest), entitled "Machine". It is featured on Groban's CD Awake . Hancock also recorded and improvised with guitarist Loueke on Loueke's 1996 debut album Virgin Forest, on the ObliqSound label, resulting in two improvisational tracks – "Le Réveil des agneaux (The Awakening of the Lambs)" and "La Poursuite du lion (The Lion's Pursuit)".

Hancock, a longtime associate and friend of Mitchell, released a 2007 album, River: The Joni Letters , that paid tribute to her work, with Norah Jones and Tina Turner, adding vocals to the album, [26] as did Corinne Bailey Rae. Leonard Cohen contributed a spoken piece set to Hancock's piano. Mitchell herself also made an appearance. The album was released on September 25, 2007, simultaneously with the release of Mitchell's newest album at that time: Shine . [27] River won the 2008 Album of the Year Grammy Award. The album also won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Album, and the song "Both Sides Now" was nominated for Best Instrumental Jazz Solo. That was only the second time in history that a jazz album had both those Grammys.

On June 14, 2008 Hancock performed with others at Rhythm on the Vine at the South Coast Winery in Temecula, California, for Shriners Hospitals for Children. The event raised $515,000 for Shriners Hospital. [28]

On January 18, 2009, Hancock performed at the We Are One concert, marking the start of inaugural celebrations for American President Barack Obama. [29] Hancock also performed Rhapsody in Blue at the 2009 Classical BRIT Awards with classical pianist Lang Lang. Hancock was named as the Los Angeles Philharmonic's creative chair for jazz for 2010–12. [30]

2010 to present

Hancock in Warsaw, Poland, November 29, 2010, with his Imagine Project HerbieHancock20101129A.jpg
Hancock in Warsaw, Poland, November 29, 2010, with his Imagine Project

In June 2010 Hancock released The Imagine Project .

On June 5, 2010 he received an Alumni Award from his alma mater, Grinnell College. [31] On July 22, 2011, at a ceremony in Paris, he was named UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for the promotion of Intercultural Dialogue. In 2013 Hancock joined the University of California, Los Angeles faculty as a professor in the UCLA music department where he will teach jazz music. [32]

June 2010, in a interview with Michael Gallant of Keyboard magazine, Hancock talks about his Fazioli giving him inspiration to do things. [33]

On December 8, 2013 he was given the Kennedy Center Honors Award for achievement in the performing arts with artists like Snoop Dogg and Mixmaster Mike from the Beastie Boys performing his music.

He appeared on the album You're Dead by Flying Lotus, released in October 2014.

Hancock is the 2014 Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard University. Holders of the chair deliver a series of six lectures on poetry, "The Norton Lectures", poetry being "interpreted in the broadest sense, including all poetic expression in language, music, or fine arts." Previous Norton lecturers include musicians Leonard Bernstein, Igor Stravinsky and John Cage. Hancock's theme is "The Ethics of Jazz." [34]

Hancock's next album is being produced by Terrace Martin, [35] and will feature a broad variety of jazz and hip-hop artists including Wayne Shorter, Kendrick Lamar, Kamasi Washington, Thundercat, Flying Lotus, Lionel Loueke, Zakir Hussein and Snoop Dogg. [36]

On May 19, 2018, Hancock received an honorary degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Personal life

Nichiren Buddhism

Since 1972, Hancock has practiced Nichiren Buddhism as a member of the Buddhist association Soka Gakkai International. [37] [38] [39] As part of Hancock's spiritual practice, he recites the Buddhist chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo each day. [40] In 2013, Hancock's dialogue with musician Wayne Shorter and Soka Gakkai International president Daisaku Ikeda on jazz, Buddhism and life was published in Japanese. [39]

Discography

Studio albums

Filmography

YearTitleRoleNotes
1981Concrete CowboysGideonEpisode: "The Wind Bags"
1985 The New Mike Hammer HimselfEpisode: "Firestorm"
1986 Round Midnight Eddie Wayne
1988Branford Marsalis SteepHimself
1993 Indecent Proposal Himself
1995Invisible UniversePoetry reader (voice)Video game
2002Hitters District Attorney
2014 Girl Meets World Catfish Willie SlimEpisode: "Girl Meets Brother"
2015 Miles Ahead Himself
2016 River of Gold [41] NarratorDocumentary
2017 Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Defense Minister

Selected concert films

Books

Awards

Hancock presented with Gold Record Award by Kazimierz Pulaski of Sony Music Poland, November 29, 2011 HerbieHancock20101129C.jpg
Hancock presented with Gold Record Award by Kazimierz Pułaski of Sony Music Poland, November 29, 2011
Herbie Hancock star on Hollywood Walk of Fame Herbie Hancock Star at Hollywood Walk of Fame.jpg
Herbie Hancock star on Hollywood Walk of Fame
Michael Lington and Hancock at the entrance of the Playboy Jazz Festival Michael Herbie Playboy 2008.jpg
Michael Lington and Hancock at the entrance of the Playboy Jazz Festival

Academy Awards

Grammy Awards

Other awards

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Head Hunters is the twelfth studio album by the American pianist and composer Herbie Hancock, released October 13, 1973, on Columbia Records. Recording sessions for the album took place in the evening at Wally Heider Studios and Different Fur Trading Co. in San Francisco, California. Head Hunters is a key release in Hancock's career and a defining moment in the genre of jazz. In 2003, the album was ranked number 498 in the book version of Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In 2007, the Library of Congress added it to the National Recording Registry, which collects "culturally, historically or aesthetically important" sound recordings from the 20th century.

Dave Holland British musician

Dave Holland is an English jazz double bassist, composer and bandleader who has been performing and recording for five decades. He has lived in the United States for over 40 years.

Rockit (song) single

"Rockit" is a composition recorded by jazz pianist Herbie Hancock and produced by Bill Laswell. Hancock released it as a single from his 1983 album Future Shock. The selection was composed by Hancock, producer Laswell, and synthesizer/drum machine programmer Michael Beinhorn.

<i>Maiden Voyage</i> (Herbie Hancock album) 1965 studio album by Herbie Hancock

Maiden Voyage is the fifth album led by jazz musician Herbie Hancock, and was recorded by Rudy Van Gelder on March 17, 1965 for Blue Note Records. It was issued as BLP 4195 and BST 84195. It is a concept album aimed at creating an oceanic atmosphere. Many of the track titles refer to marine biology or the sea, and the musicians develop the concept through their use of space. The album was presented with the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1999.

Bennie Maupin Musician, composer

Bennie Maupin is a jazz multireedist who performs on various saxophones, flute, and bass clarinet.

The Headhunters band

The Headhunters was an American jazz-fusion band formed by Herbie Hancock in 1973. The group fused jazz, funk, and rock music.

<i>Mwandishi</i> 1971 studio album by Herbie Hancock

Mwandishi is the ninth album by jazz pianist Herbie Hancock, released in 1971.

<i>Future Shock</i> (Herbie Hancock album) album by Herbie Hancock

Future Shock is pianist Herbie Hancock's thirty-fifth album and a million-selling Platinum-certified disc. It was Hancock's first release from his electro-funk era and an early example of instrumental hip hop.

<i>Sound-System</i> (album) 1984 studio album by Herbie Hancock

Sound-System is the thirty-sixth album by jazz pianist Herbie Hancock and the second of three albums with the Rockit Band.

<i>A Tribute to Miles</i> 1994 studio album by Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Tony Williams, Ron Carter, and Wallace Roney

A Tribute to Miles is a tribute album by four of the five members of the Miles Davis quintet: Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Tony Williams, Ron Carter. Taking over for Davis was trumpeter Wallace Roney.

Buster Williams American musician

Charles Anthony "Buster" Williams is an American jazz bassist. Williams is known for his membership in pianist Herbie Hancock's early 1970s group, working with guitarist Larry Coryell from the 1980s to present, working in the Thelonious Monk repertory band Sphere and as the accompanist of choice for many singers, including Nancy Wilson.

Lionel Loueke guitarist

Lionel Loueke is a guitarist and vocalist born in Benin. He moved to Ivory Coast in 1990 to study at the National Institute of Art.

Larry Klein American music producer, songwriter and bass guitar player

Larry Klein is an American musician, songwriter, record producer, and head of Strange Cargo, an imprint with Universal Music Group.

<i>River: The Joni Letters</i> 2007 studio album by Herbie Hancock

River: The Joni Letters is an album by jazz pianist Herbie Hancock that was released by Verve in 2007. It is a tribute album of cover songs written by Joni Mitchell. River was only the second jazz album to win the Grammy Award for Album of the Year.

Eddie Henderson (musician) American musician

Eddie Henderson is an American jazz trumpet and flugelhorn player. He came to prominence in the early 1970s as a member of pianist Herbie Hancock's band, going on to lead his own electric/fusion groups through the decade. Henderson earned his medical degree, and worked a parallel career as a psychiatrist and musician, turning back to acoustic jazz by the 1990s.

<i>Fat Albert Rotunda</i> 1969 studio album by Herbie Hancock

Fat Albert Rotunda is the eighth album by jazz keyboardist Herbie Hancock, released in 1969. It was Hancock's first release for Warner Bros. Records after his departure from Blue Note Records. The music was originally done for the TV special Hey, Hey, Hey, It's Fat Albert, which later inspired Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids TV show. Fat Albert Rotunda, along with Mwandishi and Crossings was reissued in one set as Mwandishi: The Complete Warner Bros. Recordings in 1994 and as The Warner Bros. Years (1969-1972) in 2014.

<i>VSOP</i> (album) 1977 live album by Herbie Hancock

V.S.O.P. is an April 1977 jazz-funk fusion double live album by keyboard player Herbie Hancock featuring performances by the V.S.O.P. Quintet, the Mwandishi band with Eddie Henderson on two tracks, and The Headhunters featuring Bennie Maupin and Paul Jackson.

Herbie Hancock discography discography

The discography of the American jazz artist Herbie Hancock consists of forty-one studio albums, twelve live albums, sixty-two compilation albums, five soundtrack albums, thirty-eight physical singles, nine promo singles and four songs not released as singles, but that charted due to downloads. This article does not include re-issues, unless they are counted separately from the original works in the charts, furthermore because of the enormous amount of material published, this discography omits less notable appearances in compilations and live albums. The discography shows the peak weekly main chart positions of eight selected countries: United States, France,[a] Germany, Japan,[b] Netherlands, Sweden,[c] Switzerland and United Kingdom. Positions also listed on United States are R&B / hip-hop, dance / club, jazz[d] and bubbling under charts.[e] The peaks don't refer necessarily to the position that a record reached when it was first released. Also included are certifications from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)[f] and the Bundesverband Musikindustrie (BVMI).[g]

References

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