Herbie Hancock is one of the few living musicians who has been able to command respect simultaneously in the high-art field of jazz and in the commercially-oriented world of popular music. Since coming to prominence with jazz trumpeter Miles Davis's pathbreaking fusion ensemble of the 1960s, Hancock has in effect maintained two separate careers, winning acclaim as an acoustic jazz pianist in pure bebop and post-bop traditions on one hand while keeping up with, making creative use of, and sometimes even giving birth to trends in black popular music on the other. In the words of Down Beat writer Pat Cole, "Hancock has been the quintessential border crosser."
An adherent of the chant-oriented Nichiren Shoshu sect of Buddhism, Hancock might also be said to have led a quintessentially creative life. He was born April 12, 1940 to Wayman and Winnie Hancock, and was recognized as a piano prodigy as a child. His musical career has been shaped and defined by the sheer fascination he feels when new sounds come his way; when a string on his piano broke during a 1986 New York concert, Hancock adapted by seamlessly weaving the twang of the damaged string into the thread of his improvisation. People magazine once described him with this memorable headline: "Cat curious, with as many creative lives, he thrives Round Midnight," the last phrase referring both to Hancock's tendency to work through the night when excited by a project and to his award- winning score for the film biography of jazzman Dexter Gordon, Round Midnight.
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.
01 New York Minute (21:49)
02 Percussion & Drum Solo - Mercy Street (19:28)
03 Thieves In The Temple (21:56)
04 Percussion Solo - You've Got It Bad Girl (36:31)
05 Love Is Stronger Than Pride *Encole (10:49)
-The New Standard All Stars
Herbie Hancok - Piano
Michael Brecker -Saxphone
John Scofield - Guitar
Dave Holland - Bass
Jack DeJonette - Drums,Percussion
Don Alias - Percussion