iTunes

Opening the iTunes Store.If iTunes doesn't open, click the iTunes application icon in your Dock or on your Windows desktop.Progress Indicator
Opening the iBooks Store.If iBooks doesn't open, click the iBooks app in your Dock.Progress Indicator
iTunes

iTunes is the world's easiest way to organize and add to your digital media collection.

We are unable to find iTunes on your computer. To preview and buy music from Herbie Hancock Box by Herbie Hancock, download iTunes now.

Already have iTunes? Click I Have iTunes to open it now.

I Have iTunes Free Download
iTunes for Mac + PC

Herbie Hancock Box

Herbie Hancock

Open iTunes to preview, buy, and download music.

Album Review

Given that Blue Note Records has issued a definitive 1960s box set of Hancock's earliest — and some consider his most seminal — work, and the literally dozens of best-ofs that have been issued, more by Columbia than by anybody else, this set with its spare futuristic design might at first glance seem like overkill, as in, "do we really need another Herbie Hancock collection, especially a damned box set?" In this case, it's very important to take a second and even third look. For starters, this set is housed in a see-though plastic box, all four CDs clearly visible on spare individual trays. On a fifth tray rests the CD booklet. On the bottom of the box is a sticker identifying the contents within. In the booklet are complete liners by Herbie himself (actually, excepts from an interview by Chuck Mitchell), and gorgeous reproductions of the album covers. It's a cool coffee table conversation piece for hep cats and kitties who are into jazz — or those who just like happening accoutrements in their living spaces. More substantial is that the material covered here encompasses a whopping 23 albums recorded over 13 years! There are 34 tracks spread out over these four discs, and while little here is completely unreleased, a number of cuts have never been made available in the States before. Lastly, given all of the Hancock material on the market, this set is the only one to capture the huge depth and breadth of Hancock's musically restless vision as it has been recorded. The discs are not presented in chronological order, and that, too, is in keeping with Hancock's modus operandi. Disc one starts with the first V.S.O.P. project from 1976, which was the Miles quintet with Freddie Hubbard playing all new tunes, so you hear the introduction to "Maiden Voyage" and the track itself. Next, it shifts to 1979 with Hancock's Live Under the Sky album, with a killer version of "Para Oriente," and then shifts yet again to the Piano album in 1978, where Hancock plays a "Harvest Time" solo before moving to "The Sorcerer" from the Quartet album of 1981. Before the disc has concluded, you've moved through more V.S.O.P., and the theme from the Round Midnight soundtrack. Disc two features more of these same treatments from the same periods generally, but features a killer version of V.S.O.P. going for broke on a completely unreleased version of Freddie Hubbard's "Red Clay" from 1977. Disc three is nearly worth the price of the box alone. This is where you get to explore the electric side of Hancock, and the various guises he worked under from the time he immediately left Miles and worked with some musicians who were totally outside his frame of reference. For instance, there is the glorious "Rain Dance" from 1972, with a large band that included trombonist Julian Priester, synthesist Patrick Gleeson, and drummer Billy Hart. Also, along with more well-known classics such as "Watermelon Man," from Head Hunters, you get tracks from Flood; Thrust; the killer Death Wish title theme with Wah Wah Watson and Lee Ritenour on guitars; "Sun Touch" from Man-Child, featuring the most beautiful flute solo ever played by Ernie Watts; Secrets; Sunlight; and the outstanding "4 a.m.," from the Mr. Hands album. This track, with a quartet that features the late Jaco Pastorius, Tony Williams, and percussionist Bill Summers, reveals the amazing depth of empathy Hancock had for the musicians he employed. His trading of lower runs with Jaco provides a listen to how tender Pastorius could be when presented with a keyboard player who was content to let him sing on the bass, and also how Hancock never has the need to dominate the proceedings, preferring to let the band speak for itself on his tunes. Disc four also features Hancock's more electric ventures. While the material ranges chronologically from "Chameleon" on Head Hunters to a Bill Laswell remake of "Maiden Voyage" in 1988, the sense of continuity that the rest of the box has doesn't seem to flow as easily. The rather jarring juxtapositions of "Stars in Your Eyes," from 1980, to "Rock It," in 1983, to "Calypso" from Mr. Hands in 1980, to "Nobu," in 1974, is too vast an expanse — mood-wise as well as aesthetically — to bridge. Perhaps it's the range of musicians that includes everyone from Ray Parker Jr. and Sheila E to Harvey Mason and Tony Williams, just to name a few. While the individual bands add up to pure delight, the track-to-track moves atmospheres, even in the funk-hip-hop worldview from bumpin' street funk to jagged, angular grooves, to near-overdriven bass, and timelines that obliterate continuity. In all, this is a small complaint; doubtless, many will use the random feature on a CD player to remedy this, or the programming feature. The Herbie Hancock Box does stand as a more than representative view of the musician's work with Columbia and reveals how lasting and influential his contributions have been, as well as how diverse, and that's really the point. Hours upon hours of pleasure await the listener who drops the cash for this fine artifact.

Customer Reviews

superb

Timeless classics,world class musicians,compositions,feel,groove, enough said. mark allan collins

Biography

Born: April 12, 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,...
Full Bio