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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Film Soundtracks - Released January 18, 1986 | Columbia - Legacy

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Film Soundtracks - Released October 11, 1974 | SMSP

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2014 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2012 | Blue Note

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Jazz Fusion & Jazz Rock - Released October 26, 1973 | Columbia - Legacy

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Head Hunters was a pivotal point in Herbie Hancock's career, bringing him into the vanguard of jazz fusion. Hancock had pushed avant-garde boundaries on his own albums and with Miles Davis, but he had never devoted himself to the groove as he did on Head Hunters. Drawing heavily from Sly Stone, Curtis Mayfield, and James Brown, Hancock developed deeply funky, even gritty, rhythms over which he soloed on electric synthesizers, bringing the instrument to the forefront in jazz. It had all of the sensibilities of jazz, particularly in the way it wound off into long improvisations, but its rhythms were firmly planted in funk, soul, and R&B, giving it a mass appeal that made it the biggest-selling jazz album of all time (a record which was later broken). Jazz purists, of course, decried the experiments at the time, but Head Hunters still sounds fresh and vital decades after its initial release, and its genre-bending proved vastly influential on not only jazz, but funk, soul, and hip-hop. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2014 | Blue Note Records

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Jazz - Released August 15, 1976 | Columbia - Legacy

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Jazz Fusion & Jazz Rock - Released September 27, 1988 | Columbia

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Perhaps the funkiest album of Herbie Hancock's early- to mid-'70s jazz/funk/fusion era, Man-Child starts off with the unforgettable "Hang Up Your Hang Ups," and the beat just keeps coming until the album's end. "Sun Touch" and "Bubbles" are slower, but funky nonetheless. Hancock is the star on his arsenal of keyboards, but guitarist Wah Wah Watson's presence is what puts a new sheen on this recording, distinguishing it from its predecessors, Head Hunters and Thrust. Others among the all-star cast of soloists and accompanists include Wayne Shorter on soprano sax, Stevie Wonder on chromatic harmonica, and longtime Hancock cohort Bennie Maupin on an arsenal of woodwinds. © Jim Newsom /TiVo
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Jazz Fusion & Jazz Rock - Released September 6, 1974 | Columbia - Legacy

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The follow-up to the breakthrough Headhunters album was virtually as good as its wildly successful predecessor: an earthy, funky, yet often harmonically and rhythmically sophisticated tour de force. There is only one change in the Headhunters lineup -- swapping drummer Harvey Mason for Mike Clark -- and the switch results in grooves that are even more complex. Hancock continues to reach into the rapidly changing high-tech world for new sounds, most notably the metallic sheen of the then-new ARP string synthesizer which was already becoming a staple item on pop and jazz-rock records. Again, there are only four long tracks, three of which ("Palm Grease," "Actual Proof," "Spank-A-Lee") concentrate on the funk, with plenty of Hancock's wah-wah clavinet, synthesizer textures and effects, and electric piano ruminations that still venture beyond the outer limits of post-bop. The change-of-pace is one of Hancock's loveliest electric pieces, "Butterfly," a match for any tune he's written before or since, with shimmering synth textures and Bennie Maupin soaring on soprano (Hancock would re-record it 20 years later on Dis Is Da Drum, but this is the one to hear). This supertight jazz-funk quintet album still sounds invigorating a quarter of a century later. © Richard S. Ginell /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | Blue Note (BLU)

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Jazz - Released September 21, 2010 | Hancock Records

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Jazz - Released March 26, 1991 | Columbia - Legacy

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Herbie Hancock completely overhauled his sound and conquered MTV with his most radical step forward since the sextet days. He brought in Bill Laswell of Material as producer, along with Grand Mixer D.ST on turntables -- and the immediate result was "Rockit," which makes quite a post-industrial metallic racket. Frankly, the whole record is an enigma; for all of its dehumanized, mechanized textures and rigid rhythms, it has a vitality and sense of humor that make it difficult to turn off. Moreover, Herbie can't help but inject a subversive funk element when he comps along to the techno beat -- and yes, some real, honest-to-goodness jazz licks on a grand piano show up in the middle of "Auto Drive." © Richard S. Ginell /TiVo
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Jazz - Released November 22, 2013 | Columbia - Legacy

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Jazz - Released October 1, 1980 | Contemporary Jazz Masters

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Jazz - Released November 22, 2013 | Columbia - Legacy

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Obviously these three have known each other since the playground days − almost at least… During the summer of 1977, the ex-virtuosos of Miles Davis’ Second Great Quintet locked themselves up in the Automatt, a studio in San Francisco, to remind those who may have forgotten how perfect their complicity could sound. These sessions gave birth to two albums: Third Plane with Milestone and Herbie Hancock Trio with Columbia. Same story five years later with a similar exercise released under the title Herbie Hancock Trio With Ron Carter & Tony Williams. Each of them included a personal theme (Dolphin Dance for Hancock, Slight Smile for Carter and Maison Goree for Williams) between two classics (Benny Golson’s Stable Mates and That Old Black Magic by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer), creating a particularly refined atmosphere. The three friends obviously put on hold their fusion/jazz-rock inclinations that had defined their music since the mid-1970s, and went back to a sort of velvety, woody-flavoured hard pop. The (new) revolution clearly wasn’t yet on the agenda. But robust swing and inspired improvisations clearly were! © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released February 1, 1978 | Columbia - Legacy

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1999 | Blue Note Records

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Less overtly adventurous than its predecessor, Empyrean Isles, Maiden Voyage nevertheless finds Herbie Hancock at a creative peak. In fact, it's arguably his finest record of the '60s, reaching a perfect balance between accessible, lyrical jazz and chance-taking hard bop. By this point, the pianist had been with Miles Davis for two years, and it's clear that Miles' subdued yet challenging modal experiments had been fully integrated by Hancock. Not only that, but through Davis, Hancock became part of the exceptional rhythm section of bassist Ron Carter and drummer Tony Williams, who are both featured on Maiden Voyage, along with trumpeter Freddie Hubbard and tenor saxophonist George Coleman. The quintet plays a selection of five Hancock originals, many of which are simply superb showcases for the group's provocative, unpredictable solos, tonal textures, and harmonies. While the quintet takes risks, the music is lovely and accessible, thanks to Hancock's understated, melodic compositions and the tasteful group interplay. All of the elements blend together to make Maiden Voyage a shimmering, beautiful album that captures Hancock at his finest as a leader, soloist, and composer. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2013 | CM BLUE NOTE (A92)

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Jazz - Released November 22, 2013 | Columbia - Legacy

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