Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Jazz on Tuesdays: A Snow Day with Herbie Hancock (a)

Much light hearted snarky abuse is flying at work with the Daves because of my desire for no snow days so that a trip to Rochester can happen this spring. So I have been claiming that my love of jazz had been keeping the school opened, until last Thursday when nature rolled over me. However, I was young enough to shovel and have quite a day in my studio. I wish I could say that the results were part of some preordained plan, but no I stumbled upon it. From the sudden turn to veer away from making a mosaic to randomly pulling out the LP featured above.

The album came to be because Herbie Hancock was approached to make some music for the LA Olympics. Herbie stepped away from the piano and went electric so he could play in tune with the Gambian instruments played by Foday Musa Suso. The LP (Village Life) is duets. Here they are playing with a band:

Then I turned to our CD collection and I was quite glad to find that I only had one of them at the school. I keep about 50 jazz CD's rotating through my classroom.

May 17th 1965: Herbie Hancock recorded his fifth LP as a leader with quite a crew of folk about him: Maiden Voyage

I then leaped to 1998 to play some Gershwin, but also 4 tunes written by folk who influenced and were influenced by Gershwin: W.C. Handy, James P. Johnson, Duke Ellington, and Maurice Ravel. The latter refused to give Gershwin piano lessons because he feared it would damage Gershwin's talent. Here is the Ravel piece:

The day in the studio ended with a CD I had found at our last library trip. Hancock's most recent CD, The Imagine Project. Can't fully try to describe this collaboration (a review) that took place as Herbie Hancock travelled the world playing with many an artist who he admired. It was aproject about hope for our times and the future, and so I will end with this tune (come back Thursday to see the art that emerged)

Lisa Hannigan and the Chieftains join Herbie Hancock to play a Bob Dylan tune. How cool is that!


  1. I did not realize Herbie forsook the piano for modern technology for the Olympics, so this was a delightful and musical history lesson!

  2. Snowcatcher--- amazing what I can learn by reading those liner notes


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