Sunday, April 12, 2020

Headhunter Gatherer: Herbie Hancock 80

The internet is once again fucked and I'm doing this over my phone, but do it I will in honor of another milestone for an ageless legend.
He is 80 today, unbelievable. Still playing as if he's 30 too.
I've covered him many times, but as long as there's unissued shows to share I will, as the man sang, keep on doin' it.
He's done it all times itself in a career spanning almost 60 years at the very top of the top of the firmament.
He began with Donald Byrd, and quickly made the leap to the second classic Miles Davis Quintet, where he spent the rest of the Sixties helping redraw the district map of Jazz. 
After he left that band, he embarked on an odyssey -- it might have been an ARP Odyssey synthesizer, actually -- that over the course of the Seventies and into the Eighties redefined almost everything people thought they knew about where electronics, composition and improvisation meet.
Along the way he had the biggest selling Jazz record ever made, and integrated a whole bunch of innovative soundmaking and processing gear into the mainstream of everything whilst doing it.
Fast forward to now and he's still out there, still performing, still making records, still teaching, still championing the young players coming up.
I've seen him play many times in many different contexts and configurations, and I've always walked away feeling I had witnessed the very essence of what it means to make music.
He was born this day in 1940, so it's the big 8-0 today for none other than Herbie Hancock, surely one of the greatest keyboardists of this or any other lifetime. 
To celebrate in the correct style, we will fire up two scorching Headhunters concerts, the earlier of which is way undercirculated and which both are as funky as anything any of you will hear today.
Herbie Hancock
1974 & 1978

Newport Jazz Festival
Carnegie Hall, New York City NY USA

01 Watermelon Man
02 Sly, part 1 
03 Sly, part 2 
04 Herbie speaks 
05 band introductions/Spank-a-Lee
06 Herbie's bee rap/Hornets
07 Bill Summers percussion solo
08 Chameleon

Total time: 1:04:51
retracked, declipped & between-track microgaps removed by EN, April 2020

Herbie Hancock - keyboards
Bennie Maupin - tenor & soprano saxophones, bass clarinet
Bill Summers - percussion
Paul Jackson - bass
Mike Clark - drums

soundboard reels from the original, lossless Wolfgang's Vault site

Nakano Sun Plaza
Tokyo, Japan

01 Butterfly
02 Sunlight
03 I Thought It Was You
04 Bill Summers percussion solo
05 Chameleon
06 Shiftless Shuffle

Total time: 49:44
retracked & declipped by EN, April 2020

Herbie Hancock - keyboards, vocals & vocoder
Webster Lewis - keyboards
Bennie Maupin - soprano & tenor saxophones
Bill Summers - percussion
Paul Jackson - bass
Alphonse Mouzon - drums
Ray Obiedo - guitar

possibly a reel of an off-air FM-sourced broadcast of this part of the concert

both shows are in the same folder/April 2020 archive link
I will take a few days to get the internet back happening, and besides I need a break after 7 posts in 9 days.
I shall return in a while, but do get after these ridiculous shows -- the stuff the drummers do will make you laugh out loud just on their own -- and please give thanks that as bad as everything is and as ugly as we are right now, we still have the music.--J.