The Early Years: Selected Recordings 1961-62
Catalogue Number: ADDCD3178
Herbie Hancock is an innovative and influential jazz pianist, keyboard player, bandleader and composer who has embraced other musical developments during his career, playing funk and using synthesisers as he explored beyond the scope of the post-bop style which he helped to define as a member of Miles Davis’ second great quintet from 1963. Born in 1940, he was 20 years old when he played his first recording session in early 1961, and this absorbing 21-track 2-CD collection includes titles from that session and from almost every session he recorded during the next couple of years, notably his first recordings as a leader, namely the album “Takin’ Off”, which is included here in its entirety. That album includes his landmark composition “Watermelon Man”, which has become a ubiquitous standard. Alongside that album are recordings with trumpeter Donald Byrd and tenor saxist Pepper Adams, and groups led by other luminaries such as Roland Kirk, Eric Dolphy and Freddie Hubbard, and alongside noted sidemen such as Dexter Gordon. It’s a fascinating and entertaining insight into the early career of an emerging jazz legend.