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Then and Now: The Definitive Herbie Hancock

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Album Review

The idea of collecting tracks off several of jazz legend Herbie Hancock's albums from the influential '60s Blue Note years through to his Grammy-winning 2007 album River is a nice idea that doesn't quite come together on Verve's Then and Now: The Definitive Herbie Hancock. Obviously designed to showcase the whole of Hancock's career post his 2007 Grammy win for River: The Joni Letters, Then and Now doesn't really give you the full picture. With only five tracks devoted to his '60s/'70s recordings (arguably his most essential and defining period), there's just not enough "then" here to really qualify this as a "definitive" collection. Not to mention that Then and Now basically ignores Hancock's '70s recordings, opting for merely an "edit" of "Chameleon" and the album version of "Watermelon Man," which comes out of chronological order near the end of the collection. Add in that you only get a live version of "Rockit" and you're left with less a definitive view of Hancock's career and more of a thumbnail sketch.


Born: 12 April 1940 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Herbie Hancock will always be one of the most revered and controversial figures in jazz -- just as his employer/mentor Miles Davis was when he was alive. Unlike Miles, who pressed ahead relentlessly and never looked back until near the very end, Hancock has cut a zigzagging forward path, shuttling between almost every development in electronic and acoustic jazz and R&B over the last third of the 20th century and into the 21st. Though grounded in Bill Evans and able to absorb blues, funk, gospel,...
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Then and Now: The Definitive Herbie Hancock, Herbie Hancock
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