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So... What is good by Herbie Hancock?


Zack Pomerleau

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Like anything else, you learn it by listening to it a lot. If there's any chords or voicings that make you say "Whaaat...", then you need to learn jazz voicings and technique. Not something you just pick up in a couple of days. Practice, practice, practice....

 

Best Hancock... look at getting some of his early to mid 70s stuff with the Headhunters. That's his funky/jazz-fusion period. After his early 80s synthpop fiasco "Rock-It", he pretty much dropped out of electronics and went all acoustic, except for some occasional one-off things like his electric band last year. His acoustic work is amazing, just like Chick's.

 

Kurzweil PC3, Yamaha MOX8, Alesis Ion, Kawai K3M
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Hancock is many things....acoustic piano, jazz, funk, electrofunk, he has been into a lot of genres each one influencing the other, but with a very high level of improvising skills and a solid foundation in hard bop i.m.o.

 

I'm not a pianist, but I think that if you just do what a contemporary performer should do, interact with the others using all the resources that your sensibility and musical culture allow for, without pre-defined boundaries, you'll probably hit the nail and do what H.H. would do, remaining original and inspired.

 

You obviously have to listen,listen,listen,play, play,play,study,study,study and so on.

Guess the Amp

.... now it's finished...

Here it is!

 

 

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You can learn HH tunes from a book, but it won't show you how he plays.

 

Check out his early stuff with Miles, his early recordings under his own name like "Maiden Voyage", then on to his fusion period with Headhunters and more recent stuff to get a broad perspective. Listening will only help you, not hurt you. Find something you like and learn it.

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There are many Hancock styles. If you are not already an expert jazzer, just forget about the jazz stuff: His jazz tunes, like those by Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea, and the like, are the pinnacle of modern jazz, and it's very difficult to play them if you haven't played ample doses of Coltrane, Parker, Ellington, etc. already. There are exceptions, however, like Maiden Voyage or Cantaloupe Island, which are easier.

About the funky stuff, well, if you know your way about synthesizers, rhythm, funk grooves, group inteplay, and have a good ear - well, just jam and have fun. At the very least, you will learn a ton of things. :D

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Like SK said...books can only do so much.

 

Herbie was one of the "house" Blue Note pianists in the 60's along w/ Mcoy Tyner, Sonny Clark, and sometimes Wynton Kelly.

Maiden Voyage, obviously his first, is a good place to start.

Other Blue Note leader recordings by him include:

 

Takin' Off, My Point of View, Inventions and Dimensions, Empryean Isles, Speak Like a Child and The Prisoner. While these are great recording's, to some people, HH's contributions to other people's records are his signature of greatness.

Required listening include, Wayne Shorter's "Speak No Evil"...considered by many a musician to be one of the greatest jazz records of all time. Freddie Hubbard's "Hubtones", Bobby Hutcherson's "Happenings", Miles Davis's "Four and More", "Seven Steps to Heaven", "My Funny Valentine", "Nefertiti" and all of Miles's late Columbia recordings.

 

This is where I would start....plenty there. What some people forget, is when HH made a lot of these recordings he was all of 21 yrs. old......WOW!!!!!!

 

Like some people said...check out his '70s electronic stuff w/ Headhunters, etc. Classic.

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Maiden Voyage, obviously his first, is a good place to start.

 

 

I don't want to nitpick but Maiden Voyage was not Herbie's first record. 'Takin' Off' was.

 

1962 - Takin' Off

1963 - My Point of View

1963 - Inventions and Dimensions

1964 - Empyrean Isles

1965 - Maiden Voyage

1968 - Speak Like a Child

1969 - The Prisoner

 

The reason I think it's an important distinction is because when I listen to these albums knowing which order they came in, I can hear the evolution of Herbie's Style both compositionally and playing wise.

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

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OT, but...Karl!! Great to see ya here. Hope all is well there. Love to the wife and kids!

 

thanks Linwood, miss you! Wish we could hang, I was in vegas in November for a few days but not enough time . . .

 

I'll email ya

Yamaha P22 Upright / Nord Stage 2 SW73
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You know there's a one disc Blue Note comp that was put out around 1995 that was one of my first intros to Herbie and I think it was called 'Canteloupe Island'. It had the more famous tunes on it from that era like Maiden Voyage, Watermelon Man, Driftin' and of course Canteloupe Island.

 

AhHere it is:

 

Those, and Chameleon, are the tunes most likely to get called on a jam. I'd say for the Essential Herbie starting off point, get this comp and get 'Headhunters'.

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

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Required listening include, Wayne Shorter's "Speak No Evil"...considered by many a musician to be one of the greatest jazz records of all time.

 

+100000

One of my alltime favorite albums, a gem. Not a note out of place. The themes, the solos, the interplay, everything at the highest level of inspiration. If forced to do a list of the top jazz albums, this would be one of the first titles that would come to my mind.

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Funny, short story: I played gigs years ago with the underated, late Johnny Coles when he was off the road with Ray Charles.

 

One night we were sitting at a bar waiting to play. The bartender didn't know Coles - or that he had played with Mingus, was on HH's 'Prisoner' album, replaced Miles with Gil Evans, etc., and was the basis for the Mushmouth character on Cosby's 'Fat Albert' cartoon.

 

The bartender looked at Johnny and said, "so you're a trumpet player, huh?" So Johnny spoke up and said "Ever hear of HERBIE HANCOCK?" The bartender said "yeah, sure." Then Johnny yelled, "Ever heard of an album called THE PRISONER??!!" .. to no reaction from the bartender. :)

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Maiden Voyage is classic jazz-a MUST listen to, his "Headhunters" era a study in azz fusion, but don't be afraid to listen to his more contemporary stuff either. I love his "Possibilities" CD...you get to hear his musical interaction with artists from other genres.

Yamaha (Motif XS7, Motif 6, TX81Z), Korg (R3, Triton-R), Roland (XP-30, D-50, Juno 6, P-330). Novation A Station, Arturia Analog Experience Factory 32

 

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I have been pursuing the "Herbie Hancock" feel for about 15 years and in another 15 I hope to be able to adequately do it...

 

In the meantime....

 

I second the recommendations to check out Maiden Voyage and Cantaloupe Island.

 

Here is my real recommendation, though... there is a Jamey Aebersold instructional CD that is called (what else) "Learn to Play Maiden Voyage"

 

Here is a link to it... (wherever you want to buy it from, not the online vendor)

 

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Jamey-Aebersold-Maiden-Voyage?sku=906634&src=3WFRWXX&CAWELAID=82806818

 

I have found the Aebersold books and play along CDs are a great way to learn how to play new jazz tunes. There are usually some good ideas in the instruction and there is a trio to play along with. They often times put the piano on the left or right channel so you can use the balance control to solo over it, comp, or take the piano parts entirely and play your own.

 

I HIGHLY recommend Jamey Aebersold books/CDs as a learning tool when I read this particular post! Check them out.

 

 

Yamaha U1 Upright, Roland Fantom 8, Nord Stage 4 HA73, Nord Wave 2, Korg Nautilus 73, Viscount Legend Live, Lots of Mainstage/VST Libraries

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Is that him singing on there?

 

You know I've seen that cover a million times but could honestly say, I'd never heard the record.

 

Let's see....his solo on El Gaucho, Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum or I thought it was you. Hmmm...that's a tough one.????

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http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41YYHVCN33L._SS500_.jpg

 

Back in the late seventies Herbie came out with an album entitled "Feets Don't Fail Me Now".

 

There is a song on that album that I always enjoyed. It's called "You Bet Your Love".

 

Herbie's music takes many forms throughout history. This is a fine example of another facet of Herbie's career that's quite different from his other works.

 

I think it's quite easy to see that he is the ultimate "Chameleon". :)

 

Listen:

 

KLONK FOR AMAZON.COM

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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Been wondering, someone told me they want to jam with me, and to play Hancock style. Now I have no clue how to do that, so on that note, what scales should I learn, or would the Pentatonic, Blues, Major, Minor Scales cover it?

 

Yes, pentatonic and major scale should pretty much cover it. If you want to get more technical, you could learn a couple of modes, like aeolian, or lydian. But you can play 99.9 % of Herbie style with just one pentatonic scale.

 

 

 

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Just learn the chromatic scale, as that has all the notes in it. From there you can take them out or add them in as you please. Chromatic's the way to go.

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

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Been wondering, someone told me they want to jam with me, and to play Hancock style. Now I have no clue how to do that, so on that note, what scales should I learn, or would the Pentatonic, Blues, Major, Minor Scales cover it?

 

Yes, pentatonic and major scale should pretty much cover it. If you want to get more technical, you could learn a couple of modes, like aeolian, or lydian. But you can play 99.9 % of Herbie style with just one pentatonic scale.

 

Yeah, the original request hit me along the lines of "I need to write something in the style of a Shakespeare sonnet, what should I use?" Nouns? Adjectives? Adverbs?

 

I think Zack has enough to go on with the above suggestions.

 

Busch.

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