Herbie Hancock is 70 years old today

m_dejeanm_dejean Quadratisch. Praktisch. Gut. 2,946 Posts
edited April 2010 in Strut Central
One of the best to do it, EVAR, turns 70 today. IMO this guy career is exemplary. Nobody is really seeing Herbie when it comes to the combination of:
  • Being a master of his instrument.
  • Having a unique, instantly recognizable style of playing.
  • Being an excellent songwriter/arranger with a knack for beautiful melodies. So many classic tunes.
  • Staying productive.
  • Pushing technological boundaries.
  • Always open to, and incorporating new ideas in his music (never judgmental)
  • Consistency in diversity, be it on the solo tip, as a sideman, scoring a film, etc. Herbie always seems to be on his game.
  • Avoiding the pitfalls of the music industry (drugs/health, career control). Focused daily.
  • Inspiring other musicians. Starting numerous musical trends or making major contributions to them.
  • Just being a nice dude.
Sure, he put out/played on a few mediocre albums, but overall I don't see who's coming close to having such a long, varied and solid discography/sessionography. He's done it all, and done it with heart. Reaching the masses and being totally unapologetic about it, but always working in more intellectual contexts as well.I haven't really kept up with his output the last 10-15 years though. The last of his albums I checked for was "Future 2 Future". Not mindblowing, but I dig the Carl Craig collabs and the track with Imani Uzuri on vocals ("Be Still").I hear he's doing the score for Don Cheadle's Miles Davis Biopic. I'm not a fan of biopics in general so I'm kind of worried about the movie, but I know Herbie will do his thing on it.And the guy looks like he's 50 years old, not 70. The positive effects of close to 40 years of buddhist lifestyle?Anyway...HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HERBIE!And thank you for the music. May you live to be a very old and happy man.


  • yuichiyuichi Urban sprawl 11,331 Posts
    Without a doubt, one of the GOAT.

    Crossings, Man Child, Headhunters, Sextet s/t, Monster, just got Prisoner. Probably got the most music of his in all the artists I got.

  • JimsterJimster Cruffiton.etsy.com 6,920 Posts
    Been at the highest level for about 50 of those 70 years, too. The later 90s/2000s electronic stuff was a bit patchy, but I really enjoyed a good part of this:

    "Court and Spark" with Norah Jones sounds very good to me. Ignore the "Big Name" chutzpah and cop.

  • staxwaxstaxwax 1,474 Posts

    this is a great clip you might already know

  • MoogManMoogMan Sao Paulo, Brazil 1,173 Posts

    And thank you for the music. May you live to be a very old and happy man.

  • JimsterJimster Cruffiton.etsy.com 6,920 Posts
    If I had to pick one album[/b] it would be "Speak Like A Child".


  • asstroasstro 1,754 Posts
    My favorite jazz musician of all time. Just yesterday I was marveling at his playing on Wayne Shorter's "Speak No Evil". Stay alive for a long time Herbie...

  • MjukisMjukis 1,675 Posts
    Often artists that just keep on doing their thing without tragedies and scandals are overlooked in the media spotlight. Much respect to Herbie and this post reminded me I should get more of his LPs, still haven't gotten around to "The Prisoner".

  • JimsterJimster Cruffiton.etsy.com 6,920 Posts
    The Prisoner would be the other one, if I could take 2. Awesome arrangements.

  • JuniorJunior 4,853 Posts
    Back when I was around 15/16 years old a friend of mine came back from some time in America clutching a whole load of Hancock albums including Thrust and Flood. He put them on and I was blown away by the music on offer, went out and picked up a bargain bin copy of the 79 Best of Herbie Hancock the following Saturday, and had my face melted clean away.

    That was pretty much the start of me collecting older records and it's all down to Herbie.

    Happy birthday to an absolute legend.

  • upskibooupskiboo 2,396 Posts

  • JazzsuckaJazzsucka 720 Posts
    An amazing human being.

  • mrmatthewmrmatthew 1,575 Posts
    Herbie is right up there with Quincy Jones as one of the true iconoclasts of last 50 years in Popular Music.

    And, for the record....Succotash off of Inventions and Dimensions was blowing my wig back just the other day.

  • covecove 1,566 Posts
    Great post, m_dejean.

    happy birthday, Herbie!1!!

  • Avoiding the pitfalls of the music industry (drugs/health, career control). Focused daily.

    i think he went through a period of heavy heroin usage ("vein melter").

    but yes, he has been an unstoppable music force for the past 50 years and a consistent source of inspiration for me.

  • Jazz Herbie > Funk Herbie

  • markus71markus71 937 Posts
    I remember when that first Blue Break Beats comp came out.
    I was listening and the final track Oliloqui Valley came on. After that I scooped up all the old Herbie records.

    He's a mindblowing musician.

    Happy B-day!

  • Big_StacksBig_Stacks "I don't worry about hittin' power, cause I don't give 'em nuttin' to hit." 4,670 Posts

    Herbie Hancock is one of my favorite musicians, bar none. Happy Birthday, Mr. Hancock, and I pray you enjoy many more decades in the world making beautiful music.


    Big Stacks from Kakalak

  • JimsterJimster Cruffiton.etsy.com 6,920 Posts
    NEW YORK ? Jazz legend Herbie Hancock will be feted at a belated 70th birthday bash at Carnegie Hall that will highlight the revival of a major summer jazz festival in the Big Apple.

    The pianist, who turns 70 on April 12, will be joined by comedian Bill Cosby, saxophonist Joe Lovano, trumpeter Terence Blanchard, and saxophonist Wayne Shorter, Hancock's bandmate in Miles Davis' famed 1960s quintet, with more guests to be announced. The June 24 concert, "Herbie Hancock, Seven Decades: The Birthday Celebration," will benefit The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.

    "That will be a very exciting night ? perhaps one of the unique nights in the history of the festival with a lot of people coming just to salute Herbie," the festival's producer, George Wein, said Friday.

    The concert will be followed by a festival first ? an old-time midnight jam session paying tribute to Hancock ? at the City Winery nightclub.

    After lining up new sponsorship from medical technology company, CareFusion Corp., Wein has resurrected New York's flagship summer jazz festival, which he first launched in 1972. The festival was canceled last year after Japanese electronics firm JVC withdrew its sponsorship.

    Wein, who founded the first outdoor jazz festival in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1954, had envisioned retiring when he sold his company, Festival Productions, in 2007. But the new owners ran into financial difficulties, and Wein formed a new company last year to save the Newport and New York festivals.

    The CareFusion Jazz Festival will make its debut from June 17 to 26 with some 45 concerts at 20 venues, including concert halls, parks, museums and libraries in four boroughs.

    Carnegie Hall will be the site of three other high-profile concerts featuring trumpeter Chris Botti, Brazilian bossa nova maestro Joao Gilberto, and the trio of pianist Keith Jarrett, bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Jack DeJohnette.

    There will also be several free outdoor concerts, with Latin jazz star Eddie Palmieri performing in a Bronx park and pianist McCoy Tyner's quartet featuring saxophonist Ravi Coltrane and the Stanley Clarke Band with Japanese pianist Hiromi playing at Central Park's SummerStage.

    But otherwise, Wein says that this year's festival will take a new youth-friendly approach highlighting up-and-coming musicians like Darcy James Argue's Secret Society, the quartet Mostly Other People Do the Killing, and the jazz-hip-hop collective Revive da Live, including rapper Talib Kweli.

    "We feel the future of jazz relates to the young people that are playing now," said the 84-year-old Wein. "Jazz is not a dying situation ? it's more alive than ever because there are more people playing the music than ever before."

    To that end, Wein has teamed with a new generation of music presenters at venues in downtown Manhattan, Harlem and Brooklyn. The festival is paying the musicians and letting the clubs collect the gate, asking only that ticket prices be kept at a recession-friendly $15 for most events.

    "It's helping the clubs and the musicians," said Wein. "Its our own stimulus program."

  • m_dejeanm_dejean Quadratisch. Praktisch. Gut. 2,946 Posts
    i remember posting on here when i saw him perform with wayne shorter, dave holland, and brian blade.

    without a doubt

    Never seen him in concert. Definitely on my live experience wishlist.

    Fishmongerfunk, are you sure about the heroin thing?
    He doesn't strike me as the kind of guy who would fall into that trap.
    I always thought "Vein Melter" was an observer's interpretation of the high.

  • JimsterJimster Cruffiton.etsy.com 6,920 Posts
    I have to doubt the heroin.

    Herbie has been a Buddhist for a very long time, I am pretty sure he said in an interview this was the reason for his youthful appearance. Heroin not typical of someone living this lifestyle, esp. as he was around to see the effects it had on Miles, Coltrane etc.

  • i am not sure about the heroin thing but i have heard it from a couple of different people (not that that makes it true).

    isn't there a herbie autobiography or something? has anyone ever read that book on the headhunters album?

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