7 Songs, 33 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

If nothing else, this album would be forever be known as Herbie Hancock's first record for Warner Bros. after an incandescent run with Blue Note. But 1969’s Fat Albert Rotunda stands as one of the keyboardist’s classics. Joined by a jazz sextet of saxophonist Joe Henderson, trumpeter Johnny Coles, trombonist Garnett Brown, bassist Buster Williams, and drummer Tootie Heath, Hancock (usually on Fender Rhodes) played a groove-based style of electric jazz that wasn't all that different from what was happening at Stax or on Creed Taylor’s CTI label. The songs were based on tunes Hancock wrote for the Bill Cosby TV cartoon Fat Albert, and there's a light, good-time vibe carried on catchy melodies, top-notch solos, and tight ensemble playing. This is particularly apparent on the funky “Wiggle-Waggle,” “Fat Mama," and the title track. There’s also some nice down-tempo material like the aptly titled “Tell Me a Bedtime Story” and the tender, horn-driven “Jessica.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

If nothing else, this album would be forever be known as Herbie Hancock's first record for Warner Bros. after an incandescent run with Blue Note. But 1969’s Fat Albert Rotunda stands as one of the keyboardist’s classics. Joined by a jazz sextet of saxophonist Joe Henderson, trumpeter Johnny Coles, trombonist Garnett Brown, bassist Buster Williams, and drummer Tootie Heath, Hancock (usually on Fender Rhodes) played a groove-based style of electric jazz that wasn't all that different from what was happening at Stax or on Creed Taylor’s CTI label. The songs were based on tunes Hancock wrote for the Bill Cosby TV cartoon Fat Albert, and there's a light, good-time vibe carried on catchy melodies, top-notch solos, and tight ensemble playing. This is particularly apparent on the funky “Wiggle-Waggle,” “Fat Mama," and the title track. There’s also some nice down-tempo material like the aptly titled “Tell Me a Bedtime Story” and the tender, horn-driven “Jessica.”

TITLE TIME
5:51
3:49
5:02
4:07
4:12
6:28
4:24

About Herbie Hancock

If Herbie Hancock had faded from view after his momentous mid-’60s stint with the Miles Davis Quintet and his pioneering Blue Note releases in the same period, his reputation as one of the most consequential pianists in jazz history would still have been assured. But Hancock repeatedly changed course, from the abstract electric jazz of his Mwandishi sextet to the tightly coiled jazz-funk fusion of Head Hunters to his prescient electronic experimentation with producer Bill Laswell in the ’80s. The Chicago-born Hancock achieved commercial success on his own terms, following a genuine creative path while ignoring barriers between jazz and pop (the title shared by his 2005 album and his 2014 memoir, Possibilities, said much about his worldview). He remains a “Chameleon,” true to his signature track from 1973, covering songs by his friend and collaborator Joni Mitchell and working alongside Kendrick Lamar, Thundercat, and Flying Lotus in the studio.

  • ORIGIN
    Chicago, IL
  • GENRE
    Jazz
  • BORN
    April 12, 1940

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