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The Complete Columbia Album Collection
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Descriptions du produit
Description du produit
LEGACY & COLUMBIA
Le coffret que vous attendiez tous !
THE COMPLETE COLUMBIA ALBUM COLLECTION
31 albums (34 CDs) enregistrés par Herbie Hancock pour Columbia Records réunis pour la première fois dans un somptueux coffret Deluxe
. Remasterisation complète des albums
. Reproduction des pochettes originale en vinyle réplica
Livret 200 pages comprenant :
. Un essai de Bob Belden
. Commentaires individuels des albums de Max Schlueter
. Une discographie détaillée de Richard Seidel
. Un glossaire des instruments électroniques
. Nombreuses photos rares
Enfin réunis pour la première fois l'ensemble des enregistrements réalisés par Herbie Hancock pour Columbia Records US et CBS / Sony Japon entre 1972 et 1988, sa plus longue et plus prolifique association avec un label :
31 albums dont huit n'ont jamais été disponible hors du Japon
Les 34 CDs entièrement remasterisés pour la circonstance démontrent la virtuosité d'un artiste étourdissant d'inventivité dont l'influence sur la musique reste aujourd'hui considérable.
Devenu jazzman à la fin des années 50, le pianiste, claviériste, chanteur, compositeur et comédien américain Herbie Hancock - né en 1940 - enregistre son premier disque en leader à 21 ans et intègre l'orchestre de Miles Davis à 23.
Passant aisément du hard bop (avec le groupe VSOP) au funk (avec les Headhunters / dont les ventes de disques dépassent en 1973 le million) il est aussi un adepte des innovations technologiques et des fusions en tous genres : il connait en 1983 un véritable succès pop avec l'album « Future Shock » certifié platine.
Ces cinquante dernières années l'auront vu évoluer, au-delà des catégories et des genres musicaux, dans un éclectisme assumé auquel rend hommage cette somptueuse intégrale Columbia.
Partant de l'album Sextant (1972), qui provoqua une rupture dans le style d'Herbie Hancock après des débuts sur Blue Note et une parenthèse innovante avec Mwandishi pour Warner Bros., cet édifice de trente-quatre CD (trente-et-un albums) suit l'évolution du musicien au gré des formations et des avancées technologiques qui l'ont poussé à élargir les frontières du jazz vers le funk, les musiques électroniques et le hip-hop.
Cet itinéraire, souvent décrié à l'époque pour s'être aventuré vers les musiques populaires, apparaît aujourd'hui comme précurseur voire visionnaire pour un pianiste élevé dans le sérail de la musique classique et du jazz traditionnel, tel son aîné Miles Davis, auquel de nombreux points communs le rattache. Ainsi, la période Columbia qui s'étend jusqu'en 1988 participe de l'une des trajectoires les plus passionnantes du jazz contemporain, où les chefs d'oeuvre côtoient les sorties de route et les expérimentations, les facilités d'un surdoué toujours à l'écoute du mouvement qui l'entoure. Si seulement seize années séparent Sextant de Perfect Machine, on peut dire qu'elles furent bien remplies et pour le moins éclectiques.
Entièrement remastérisés, fournis avec un guide de 200 pages fourmillant de photos, d'explications (en anglais) et d'annotations album par album, ces trésors aux pochettes originales multicolores constituent la plus grande part de l'inventaire d'un musicien majeur de son temps. Détaché du second quintette historique de Miles Davis, l'élève prodige embraie sur la fusion du moment et sort l'étalon du jazz funk qu'est Headhunters (1973) avec son acolyte Bennie Maupin. La collaboration poursuivie sur Thrust (1974) alterne avec des exclusivités japonaises (huit au total dont Dedication, Flood et Sunlight), une B.O. (Death Wish) et des gammes acoustiques régulières, sur Man-Child (1975) puis avec le V.S.O.P. réunissant Freddie Hubbard, Ron Carter, Tony Williams, soit la dream team de Maiden Voyage (Blue Note, 1965) et Wayne Shorter, le temps de cinq grands crus studio ou live, entre 1977 et 1979.
Parallèlement, le leader n'en finit pas d'explorer, tâtonner, expérimenter toutes sortes de claviers électriques et de synthétiseurs (notamment l'ARP) dont la liste est dressée en annexe. Entre deux albums en trio avec Carter et Williams (1977, 1981) surgissent un exercice en duo avec son alter ego et rival Chick Corea (1978), une épure en solo (The Piano, 1978), le voluptueux plaisir coupable de Monster (1980, « Making Love With You ») et le jazz rock virtuose de Mr. Hands (1980). Hancock n'est pas surnommé « The Chameleon » pour rien. Ensuite, en roue libre, il dynamite les genres dans un feu d'artifice mêlant claviers électroniques et scratches hip-hop sous Vocoder dans le bien-nommé Future Shock de 1983, avec le fameux « Rock it ». Et ceci après un magnifique album en quartette (Quartet, 1981) et une B.O. rétro, celle de Round Midnight (1985), en hommage à Dexter Gordon. La poussée futuriste entamée avec Lite Me Up (1982) se poursuit avec Bill Laswell sur Sound System (1984) et Perfect Machine (1988), achevant une période, un cycle, un style. Avec la période Blue Note, plus courte, qui mériterait pareil traitement, The Complete Columbia Album Collection est un must, une redéfinition du jazz par l'un de ses maîtres. - Copyright 2016 Music Story
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Soyons juste : il ne s’agit pas d’une intégrale de tous les albums d’Herbie Hancock car il a eu une vie discographique avant et après Columbia, et même pendant. Mais il s’agit bien d’une intégrale de ce qui est paru chez columbia/CBS en occident, comme en orient, car on y trouve des albums jamais édités aux USA ou en Europe, réservés jusque là au marché japonais. Huit en tout, comme Dedication, Flood ou Directsteps.
Un livret très épais, de 200 vraies pages environ nous sert de guide dans les méandres de cette production pléthorique et magnifique. 200 vraies pages, car il contient, outre bon nombre de photographies, des études qui ne sont écrites qu’en anglais, et qui ne sont donc pas démultipliées en plusieurs langues. Il en va de même des petits textes de présentation qui accompagnent chaque album avec les track listing.Lire la suite ›
En format MINI LP (réplique des albums vinyles).
Les pochettes d'albums sont de très bonnes qualités (évidement nous ne sommes toujours pas à la hauteur de la qualité des pressages japonais). Malgré tout cela reste globalement très bons, les couleurs ressortent bien les collages résistent avec le temps (mon achat date du début décembre 2013) et les notes des pochettes restent lisibles.
Le livret (papier glacé et en couleur) est super complet, photos inédites + tracklisting + commentaires et contexte pour chacun des albums. (Sur ce dernier on peut évaluer le travail remarquable et très sérieux des concepteurs de ce projet)
Mais ce qui fait réellement la différence c'est son prix (115€ pour 31 albums soit environ 3,70€ l'album).
Autrement dit ne surtout pas hésiter à se procurer ce coffret.
Moi qui suis fan d' H.H. depuis mon adolescence j'en ai même découvert un album absolument merveilleux et introuvable hors de cette box magique qui est l'album 'Village Life" sortit en 1984. (en collaboration avec Foday Musa Suso à la Kora).
Sans parler des 'Lite Me Up', du 'Direcsteps' ou encore 'Feets don’t fail me now' qui avaient tendance à s'arracher à plus de 40€ la pièce sur un certain site d'enchère bien connu.
Achetez, Ecoutez, explorez et appréciez au sein de cette box tout le travail pharaonique de cet artiste emblématique de ces 50 dernières années.
Beau coffret et le contenu du livret est à la hauteur du contenu musical. Que rajouter d'autre sinon qu'il permet de se replonger dans une période très créative ? C'est un achat incontournable pour qui apprécie le genre et l'artiste, ce qui doit faire pas mal de monde....
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The majority of Herbie's pre-Columbia releases (1962-1971) are still relatively inexpensive to purchase on CD, as are his post-Columbia releases (1994 to the present). Again, the real challenge has been finding many of his Columbia releases (1972-1988). (To my knowledge, he didn't release anything on any label between 1989 and 1993.)
To purchase all of his Columbia CDs individually these days could easily cost thousands of dollars, if you can even find some of the really rare ones at all. So, having access to all of them for under $200 in this box set is an incredible bargain.
The downside, of course, is that, if you have several of his Columbia releases on CD already, you will end up with some duplicates. Still, this might be a good opportunity to turn some friends onto his music by giving them your duplicates (as I will be doing).
Listening to these releases (many of which I haven't heard since I purchased the original LPs 30 to 40 years ago) is a real trip down memory lane.
There is only one complaint that I have, and it is a minor one. In Columbia's effort to be "true to the originals," it printed the original LP sleeves on the CD sleeves exactly as everything appeared on the original LP sleeves. The problem, of course, is that the CD sleeves are so small that the majority of the small printing (especially on the backs) is so small that it is completely blurred. You will actually need a magnifying glass to read a lot of what is written on the sleeves. However, not to worry. The 200-page book provides all of the details in terms of song titles, lengths, etc. on all of the CDs.
And, even more importantly, the CDs in this box set contain all of the additional tracks that were released on the original CDs, but not on the original LPs. In other words, if you have an original Herbie LP with six tracks and the same CD with ten tracks (the original six tracks plus four bonus tracks), the CD in this box set will also have the same ten tracks.
Overall, an impressive, complete and important collection.
1. Dedication (1974)* (nice solo piano -- rare at the time for Herbie, and then some interesting solo synth explorations.
2. Flood (1975)* (the ONLY commercially released live Headhunters album is a killer. I remember ordering the original gatefold LP from Japan. It's been a favorite ever since)
3. Herbie Hancock Trio (1977)* (Hancock/Carter/Williams)
4. V.S.O.P.: Tempest In The Colosseum (1977)* (there will never be enough VSOP. This one's also a killer, with some nice tunes not on the US releases)
5. Direct Step (1978)* (not a killer, perhaps, but good funk. some Headhunters, but with Alphonse Mouzon).
6. V.S.O.P.: Five Stars (1979)* One of my favorite all time jazz releases ever, marred only by the fact that it's one tune too short! It's the only studio recording of VSOP and contains compositions by 4 of the five stars (still don't know why they didn't include a number by Ron Carter to make this complete. Hubbard's opening Skagly is a killer, but Tony Williams Mutants on the Beach with this band is beyond great. Beautifully full, clear recording. You will rarely, if ever, hear Ron Carter's bass so clear.
7. Butterfly w/ Kimiko Kasai (1979)* Not a killer, exactly, but good Headhunters backing.
8. Herbie Hancock Trio w/ Ron Carter + Tony Williams (1981)* (another good trio release)
Some of these, particularly Flood and Five Stars, should have been released in the US. They're too good not to be. And again, if these are new to you, this is absolutely a reason to buy this set. You'll eventually forgive the inclusion of Feets Don't Fail Me Now. If you own none of these ... what's wrong with you?
One of the hooks on this boxed set of the 31 different releases (3 are double discs) that Hancock released during those 16 years (essentially putting out 2 albums a year!) is that 8 of these musical entities have never been available in the US before, having been released in only the Japanese market. Those eight delights are Dedication (1974), Flood (1975), The Herbie Hancock Trio (1977) Tempest In The Colosseum (1977), Five Stars (1979), Butterfly (1979), and Herbie Hancock Trio With Ron Carter + Tony Williams (1981). Any self-respecting Hancock fan will salivate for joy over what his ears have been missing with these bathing beauties.
Going over each disc individually would be like going on a tour of the Louvre-it’s just overwhelming and exhausting. The easier route here is to put Hancock’s releases into various categories. First and foremost are the acoustic sets, and they are in solo format (half of The Piano-the other half is electronic), Duo (a marvelous set with Chick Corea in concert), Trio (a couple discs with Ron Carter and Tony Williams that are the epitome of style and grace-too bad he did this format so rarely!) , Quartet (with the addition of a young and voracious Wynton Marsalis), Quintet (the famed VSOP band, having a front line of Wayne Shorter and Freddie Hubbard in their absolute primes, which was supposed to be a reunion of Miles Davis’ band, but Davis wisely demured) and various other combinations (from his must-have soundtrack to ‘Round Midnight with Dexter Gordon). Second, you get the “fusion” format which includes the musically imaginative but commercially disastrous Mwandishi band, which coalesced to become the classic 1975 Headhunter band in studio AND at a HOT concert setting of this unit which gave bands like Return to Forever and Weather Report a run for their money. Third is the “funk” section which has highlights with Flood, Manchild, Secrets and half of the VSOP set with “Wah Wah” Watson on guitar. Fourth is a small set of vocal discs such as Sunlight, which has Hancock experimenting with vocal machines, but has as its zenith the obscure Butterfly with Kimiko Kasai delivering some mesmerizing work. Fifth is the “synth-rock-disco” and R&B phase with the poppish Feet Don’t Fail Me Now and the eyebrow raising mega hit “Rockit” along with Sound System. Uncategorizable discs include the intriguing soundtrack to Charles Bronson’s Death Wish and the fascinating collection of duos with kora and talking drummer Foday Musa Suso on Village Life.
Unless these discs were all put together into a giant box like this, it would be impossible to appreciate the strides that Hancock took to experiment with various at-the-time nascent keyboard electronics and creating a state of the art system of sounds as if he were a sonic chemist mixing solutions together to create a completely new solution. Going back and forth between “plugged in” and then being on the cutting edge of the return to acoustic jazz is an impressive testimony for the catholic and ecumenical view that Hancock has had towards music its use for entertainment AND art. Not a small feat, in retrospect.
Highlights? You’ve got to be KIDDING! It depends what style of Hancock you prefer. It’s hard to believe that one person would be a devoted fan of each of these divergent musical tastes and styles, yet one person actually wrote and PERFORMED them all! Personally, the concert material with Hubbard, Shorter and Marsalis is what first attracted me to Hancock and jazz, but the infectious joy of the Headhunters band, particularly the irresistible riff on “Chameleon” and the re-vamped “Watermelon Man” will cause you to run for your bell bottoms and Afro Sheen in seconds flat. The fact that he did an acoustic trio format so rarely makes those sessions with Carter and Williams lovely jewels as well. It would be interesting to see which smaller box set would sell the best if they divided the discs up according to styles, but that’s a moot point; you’re going to want this whole set, just to appreciate what a genius sounds like through the years.
Hancock and producer Rubinson probably set out to shape the sound of the future, but it was just the fad of the moment actually... Fairlight, Oberheim, Prophet, ARP synthesizers, the vocoder!... hardly any musician, any studio uses them anymore.
It's quite ironic that the music Hancock recorded during those years using a traditional, acoustic setting (piano solo, piano trio etc.) sounds more modern and fresh than the electronic music employing state-of-the-art technology of the day.
And this brings us to the good bits.
I was surprised to find how many beautiful gems you can handpick amid the funky/fusion sides. The acoustic records are uniformly great, confirming that Hancock's genius has always been there: the solo record "The Piano"; the discs in Trio (2 CDS) and the Quartet with Wynton Marsalis (1); the concert with Chick Corea (2); the V.S.O.P. quintet with Hubbard and Shorter (about 6 CDs), and the "Round Midnight" soundtrack, possibly the best record of the lot, which deservedly won him an Oscar.
Among the electronic records there is some valid stuff too: the Mwandishi Band's "Sextant" and the first Headhunters ("Head Hunters"); the beautiful solo-Hancock "Dedication" (one side acoustic, one side electronic, both highly enjoyable); the disc with Japanese singer Kimiko Kasai; the tasteful "Village Life" with Foday Musa Suso.
So, to my taste, at least half of these 34 discs are worth having... and you can currently find this set for about Euros 110 / $ 150.
Is it reasonable? Is it expensive? It's very subjective, I guess... the good stuff is really good, the funky stuff is often lame.
Hancock's best-known solo works include "Cantaloupe Island", "Watermelon Man" (later performed by dozens of musicians, including bandleader Mongo Santamaría), "Maiden Voyage", "Chameleon", and the singles "I Thought It Was You" and "Rockit". His 2007 tribute album River: The Joni Letters won the 2008 Grammy Award for Album of the Year, only the second jazz album ever to win the award, after Getz/Gilberto in 1965.
Hancock practices Nichiren Buddhism and is a member of the Buddhist association Sōka Gakkai International. As part of Hancock's spiritual practice, he recites the Buddhist chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo each day. In 2013, Hancock's dialogue with Wayne Shorter and Daisaku Ikeda on jazz, Buddhism and life was published in Japanese.
On July 22, 2011 at a ceremony in Paris, Hancock was named UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for the promotion of Intercultural Dialogue. In 2013 Hancock joined the University of California, Los Angeles faculty as a professor in the UCLA music department where he will teach jazz music.
Hancock is the 2014 Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard University. Holders of the chair deliver a series of six lectures on poetry, "The Norton Lectures", poetry being "interpreted in the broadest sense, including all poetic expression in language, music, or fine arts." Previous Norton lecturers include musicians Leonard Bernstein, Igor Stravinsky and John Cage. Hancock's theme is "The Ethics of Jazz."
In his early life, Hancock was born in Chicago, Illinois. Like many jazz pianists, Hancock started with a classical music education. He studied from age seven, and his talent was recognized early. Considered a child prodigy, he played the first movement of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 26 in D Major, K. 537 (Coronation) at a young people's concert on February 5, 1952, with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (led by CSO assistant conductor George Schick) at age 11.
Through his teens, Hancock never had a jazz teacher, but developed his ear and sense of harmony. He was also influenced by records of the vocal group the Hi-Lo's. He reported that:
the time I actually heard the Hi-Lo's, I started picking that stuff out; my ear was happening. I could hear stuff and that's when I really learned some much farther-out voicings – like the harmonies I used on Speak Like a Child – just being able to do that. I really got that from Clare Fischer's arrangements for the Hi-Lo's. Clare Fischer was a major influence on my harmonic concept... He and Bill Evans, and Ravel and Gil Evans, finally. You know, that's where it came from.
In 1960, he heard Chris Anderson play just once, and begged him to accept him as a student. Hancock often mentions Anderson as his harmonic guru. Hancock left Grinnell College, moved to Chicago and began working with Donald Byrd and Coleman Hawkins, during which period he also took courses at Roosevelt University. (He later graduated from Grinnell with degrees in electrical engineering and music. Grinnell also awarded him an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree in 1972.) Donald Byrd was attending the Manhattan School of Music in New York at the time and suggested that Hancock study composition with Vittorio Giannini, which he did for a short time in 1960. The pianist quickly earned a reputation, and played subsequent sessions with Oliver Nelson and Phil Woods. He recorded his first solo album Takin' Off for Blue Note Records in 1962. "Watermelon Man" (from Takin' Off) was to provide Mongo Santamaría with a hit single, but more importantly for Hancock, Takin' Off caught the attention of Miles Davis, who was at that time assembling a new band. Hancock was introduced to Davis by the young drummer Tony Williams, a member of the new band.
On the Miles Davis Quintet and with the Blue Note/Capitol Years (1962-69), Hancock received considerable attention when, in May 1963, he joined Davis's Second Great Quintet. Davis personally sought out Hancock, whom he saw as one of the most promising talents in jazz. The rhythm section Davis organized was young but effective, comprising bassist Ron Carter, 17-year-old drummer Williams, and Hancock on piano. After George Coleman and Sam Rivers each took a turn at the saxophone spot, the quintet would gel with Wayne Shorter on tenor saxophone. This quintet is often regarded as one of the finest jazz ensembles[by whom?], and the rhythm section has been especially praised for its innovation and flexibility[by whom?].
The second great quintet was where Hancock found his own voice as a pianist. Not only did he find new ways to use common chords, but he also popularized chords that had not previously been used in jazz. Hancock also developed a unique taste for "orchestral" accompaniment – using quartal harmony and Debussy-like harmonies, with stark contrasts then unheard of in jazz. With Williams and Carter he wove a labyrinth of rhythmic intricacy on, around and over existing melodic and chordal schemes. In the latter half of the 1960s their approach became so sophisticated and unorthodox that conventional chord changes would hardly be discernible; hence their improvisational concept would become known as "Time, No Changes".
While in Davis's band, Hancock also found time to record dozens of sessions for the Blue Note label, both under his own name and as a sideman with other musicians such as Shorter, Williams, Grant Green, Bobby Hutcherson, Rivers, Byrd, Kenny Dorham, Hank Mobley, Lee Morgan and Freddie Hubbard.
His albums Empyrean Isles (1964) and Maiden Voyage (1965) were to be two of the most famous and influential jazz LPs of the 1960s, winning praise for both their innovation and accessibility (the latter demonstrated by the subsequent enormous popularity of the Maiden Voyage title track as a jazz standard, and by the jazz rap group US3 having a hit single with "Cantaloop" (derived from "Cantaloupe Island" on Empyrean Isles) some twenty five years later). Empyrean Isles featured the Davis rhythm section of Hancock, Carter and Williams with the addition of Hubbard on cornet, while Maiden Voyage also added former Davis saxophonist Coleman (with Hubbard remaining on trumpet). Both albums are regarded as among the principal foundations of the post-bop style. Hancock also recorded several less-well-known but still critically acclaimed albums with larger ensembles – My Point of View (1963), Speak Like a Child (1968) and The Prisoner (1969) featured flugelhorn, alto flute and bass trombone. 1963's Inventions and Dimensions was an album of almost entirely improvised music, teaming Hancock with bassist Paul Chambers and two Latin percussionists, Willie Bobo and Osvaldo "Chihuahua" Martinez.
During this period, Hancock also composed the score to Michelangelo Antonioni's film Blowup (1966), the first of many soundtracks he recorded in his career.
Davis had begun incorporating elements of rock and popular music into his recordings by the end of Hancock's tenure with the band. Despite some initial reluctance, Hancock began doubling on electric keyboards including the Fender Rhodes electric piano at Davis's insistence. Hancock adapted quickly to the new instruments, which proved to be instrumental in his future artistic endeavors.
Under the pretext that he had returned late from a honeymoon in Brazil, Hancock was dismissed from Davis's band. In the summer of 1968 Hancock formed his own sextet. However, although Davis soon disbanded his quintet to search for a new sound, Hancock, despite his departure from the working band, continued to appear on Davis records for the next few years. Noteworthy appearances include In a Silent Way, A Tribute to Jack Johnson and On the Corner.
On the Warner Brothers years "Fat Albert", "Mwandishi" and "Crossings" from 1969 to 1972, Hancock left Blue Note in 1969, signing with Warner Bros. Records. In 1969, Hancock composed the soundtrack for the Bill Cosby animated children's television show Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids. Titled Fat Albert Rotunda (1969), the album was mainly an R&B-influenced album with strong jazz overtones. One of the jazzier songs on the record, "Tell Me a Bedtime Story", was later re-worked as a more electronic sounding song for the Quincy Jones album, Sounds...and Stuff Like That!! (1978).
Hancock became fascinated with accumulating musical gadgets and toys. Together with the profound influence of Davis's Bitches Brew (1970), this fascination would culminate in a series of albums, in which electronic instruments are coupled with acoustic instruments.
Hancock's first ventures into electronic music started with a sextet comprising Hancock, bassist Buster Williams and drummer Billy Hart, and a trio of horn players: Eddie Henderson (trumpet), Julian Priester (trombone), and multireedist Bennie Maupin. Dr. Patrick Gleeson was eventually added to the mix to play and program the synthesizers. In fact, Hancock was one of the first jazz pianists to completely embrace electronic keyboards.
The sextet, later a septet with the addition of Gleeson, made three albums under Hancock's name: Mwandishi (1971), Crossings (1972) (both on Warner Bros. Records), and Sextant (1973) (released on Columbia Records); two more, Realization and Inside Out, were recorded under Henderson's name with essentially the same personnel. The music exhibited strong improvisational aspect beyond the confines of jazz mainstream and showed influence from the electronic music of contemporary classical composers.
Synthesizer player Gleeson, one of the first musicians to play synthesizer on any jazz recording, introduced the instrument on Crossings, released in 1972, one of a handful of influential electronic jazz/fusion recordings to feature synthesizer that year. On Crossings (as well as on Weather Report's I Sing the Body Electric), the synthesizer is used more as an improvisatory global orchestration device than as a strictly melodic instrument. An early review of Crossings in Downbeat magazine complained about the synthesizer, but a few years later the magazine noted in a cover story on Gleeson that he was "a pioneer" in the field of electronics in jazz. In the albums following The Crossings, Hancock started to play synth himself, with synth taking on a melodic role.
Hancock's three records released in 1971–1973 later became known as the "Mwandishi" albums, so-called after a Swahili name Hancock sometimes used during this era (Mwandishi is Swahili for writer). The first two, including Fat Albert Rotunda were made available on the 2-CD set Mwandishi: the Complete Warner Bros. Recordings, released in 1994, but are now sold as individual CD editions. Of the three electronic albums, Sextant is probably the most experimental since the ARP synthesizers are used extensively, and some advanced improvisation ("post-modal free impressionism") is found on the tracks "Hornets" and "Hidden Shadows" (which is in the meter 19/4). "Hornets" was later revised on the 2001 album Future2Future as "Virtual Hornets".
Among the instruments Hancock and Gleeson used were Fender Rhodes piano, ARP Odyssey, ARP 2600, ARP Pro Soloist Synthesizer, a Mellotron and the Moog synthesizer III.
All three Warner Bros. albums Fat Albert Rotunda (1969), Mwandishi (1971), and Crossings (1972), were remastered in 2001 and released in Europe but were not released in the US as of June 2005. In the winter of 2006–7 a remastered edition of Crossings was announced and scheduled for release in the spring.
The Columbia/CBS/Sony Music Years (1972-1988), After the sometimes "airy" and decidedly experimental "Mwandishi" albums, Hancock was eager to perform more "earthy" and "funky" music. The Mwandishi albums – though later seen as respected early fusion recordings – had seen mixed reviews and poor sales, so it is probable that Hancock was motivated by financial concerns as well as artistic restlessness. Hancock was also bothered by the fact that many people did not understand avant-garde music. He explained that he loved funk music, especially Sly Stone's music, so he wanted to try to make funk himself.
He gathered a new band, which he called The Headhunters, keeping only Maupin from the sextet and adding bassist Paul Jackson, percussionist Bill Summers, and drummer Harvey Mason. The album Head Hunters, released in 1973, was a major hit and crossed over to pop audiences, though it prompted criticism from some jazz fans.
Despite charges of "selling out", Stephen Erlewine of Allmusic positively reviewed the album among other friendly critics, saying, "Head Hunters still sounds fresh and vital three decades after its initial release, and its genre-bending proved vastly influential on not only jazz, but funk, soul, and hip-hop."
Drummer Mason was replaced by Mike Clark, and the band released a second album, Thrust, the following year, 1974. (A live album from a Japan performance, consisting of compositions from those first two Head Hunters releases was released in 1975 as Flood. The record has since been released on CD in Japan.) This was almost as well received as its predecessor, if not attaining the same level of commercial success. The Headhunters made another successful album called Survival of the Fittest in 1975 without Hancock, while Hancock himself started to make even more commercial albums, often featuring members of the band, but no longer billed as The Headhunters. The Headhunters reunited with Hancock in 1998 for Return of the Headhunters, and a version of the band (featuring Jackson and Clark) continues to play live and record.
In 1973, Hancock composed his second masterful soundtrack to the controversial film The Spook Who Sat by the Door. Then in 1974, he also composed the soundtrack to the first Death Wish film. One of his memorable songs, "Joanna's Theme", would later be re-recorded in 1997 on his duet album with Shorter, 1 + 1.
Hancock's next jazz-funk albums of the 1970s were Man-Child (1975), and Secrets (1976), which point toward the more commercial direction Hancock would take over the next decade. These albums feature the members of the Headhunters band, but also a variety of other musicians in important roles.
During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Hancock toured with his V.S.O.P. quintet, which featured all the members of the 1960s Davis quintet except Davis, who was replaced by trumpeter Hubbard. There was constant speculation that one day Davis would reunite with his classic band, but he never did so. VSOP recorded several live albums in the late 1970s, including The Quintet (1977).
In 1978, Hancock recorded a duet with Chick Corea, who had replaced him in the Davis band a decade earlier. Hancock also released a solo acoustic piano album titled The Piano (1979), which, like so many Hancock albums at the time, was initially released only in Japan. (It was finally released in the US in 2004.) Several other Japan-only releases have yet[when?] to appear in the US, such as Dedication (1974), V.S.O.P.'s Tempest in the Colosseum (1977), and Direct Step (1978). Live Under the Sky was a VSOP album remastered for the US in 2004, and included an entire second concert from the July 1979 tour.
From 1978 to 1982, Hancock recorded many albums consisting of jazz-inflected disco and pop music, beginning with Sunlight (featuring guest musicians including Williams and Pastorius on the last track) (1978). Singing through a vocoder, he earned a British hit, "I Thought It Was You", although critics were unimpressed. This led to more vocoder on 1979 follow-up, Feets, Don't Fail Me Now, which gave him another UK hit in "You Bet Your Love".
Albums such as Monster (1980), Magic Windows (1981), and Lite Me Up (1982) were some of Hancock's most criticized and unwelcomed albums, the market at the time being somewhat saturated with similar pop-jazz hybrids from the likes of former bandmate Hubbard. Hancock himself had quite a limited role in some of those albums, leaving singing, composing and even producing to others. Mr. Hands (1980) is perhaps the one album during this period, that was critically acclaimed. To the delight of many fans, there were no vocals on the album, and one track featured Pastorius on bass. The album contained a wide variety of different styles, including a disco instrumental song, a Latin-jazz number and an electronic piece, in which Hancock plays alone with the help of computers.
Hancock also found time to record more traditional jazz while creating more commercially oriented music. He toured with Williams and Carter in 1981, recording Herbie Hancock Trio, a five-track live album released only in Japan. A month later, he recorded Quartet with trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, released in the US the following year. Hancock, Williams and Carter toured internationally with Wynton and his brother, saxophonist Branford Marsalis, in what was known as "VSOP II". This quintet can be heard on Marsalis' debut album on Columbia (1981). In 1982 Hancock contributed to the Simple Minds album New Gold Dream (81,82,83,84), playing a synthesizer solo on the track "Hunter and the Hunted".
In 1983, Hancock had a mainstream hit with the Grammy-award winning instrumental single "Rockit" from the album Future Shock. It was the first jazz hip-hop song and became a worldwide anthem for the breakdancers and for the hip-hop culture of the 1980s. It was also the first mainstream single to feature scratching, and also featured an innovative animated music video, which was directed by Godley and Creme and showed several robot-like artworks by Jim Whiting. The video was a hit on MTV and reached No. 8 in the UK. The video won in five categories at the inaugural MTV Video Music Awards. This single ushered in a collaboration with noted bassist and producer Bill Laswell. Hancock experimented with electronic music on a string of three LPs produced by Laswell: Future Shock (1983), the Grammy Award-winning Sound-System (1984), and Perfect Machine (1988).
During this period, he appeared onstage at the Grammy Awards with Stevie Wonder, Howard Jones, and Thomas Dolby, in a synthesizer jam. Lesser known works from the 1980s are the live album Jazz Africa (1987) and the studio album Village Life (1984), which were recorded with Gambian kora player Foday Musa Suso. Also, in 1985 Hancock performed as a guest on the album So Red the Rose (1985) by the Duran Duran spinoff group Arcadia. He also provided introductory and closing comments for the PBS rebroadcast in the United States of the BBC educational series from the mid-1980s, Rockschool (not to be confused with the most recent Gene Simmons' Rock School series).
In 1986, Hancock performed and acted in the film 'Round Midnight. He also wrote the score/soundtrack, for which he won an Academy Award for Original Music Score. Often he would write music for TV commercials. "Maiden Voyage", in fact, started out as a cologne advertisement. At the end of the Perfect Machine tour, Hancock decided to leave Columbia Records after a 15-plus-year relationship.
As of June 2005, almost half of his Columbia recordings have been remastered. The first three US releases, Sextant, Head Hunters and Thrust, as well as the last four releases, Future Shock, Sound-System, the soundtrack to Round Midnight, and Perfect Machine. Everything released in America from Man-Child (1975) to Quartet (1982) has yet to be remastered. Some albums, made and initially released in the US, were remastered between 1999 and 2001 in other countries. Hancock also re-released some of his Japan-only releases in the West, such as The Piano.