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Mwandishi: The Complete Warner Bros. Recordings

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iTunes Review

While Herbie Hancock’s ebullient and groovy first album for Warner Bros. was a funk-jazz classic, his second is equally revered for different reasons. First released in 1970, it’s more experimental and abstract, with spacy keyboard sounds and wide-open rhythms. Hancock is joined by bassist Buster Williams (the only holdover from the last album), trumpeter Eddie Henderson, trombonist Julian Priester, drummer Billy Hart, and Bennie Maupin on bass clarinet and flute. The idea is to improvise collectively off a melody without the anchor of chord progressions. Dedicated to political activist Angela Davis, “Ostinato (Suite for Angela)” has a 15/4 Afro-funk vamp anchored by Williams, which makes for a nice bridge from the last album to this new direction. “You’ll Know When You Get There” starts with a lovely Hancock melody and seems to float along on the winds of the different players' ideas. Further out is the slow-building “Wandering Spirit Song,” which was written by Priester but owes a debt to Miles Davis’ In a Silent Way.

Customer Reviews

“Ostinato” is amazing!

“Ostinato - Suite for Angela” - Wow! This song reminds me so much of classics from his 1973 “Headhunters” album. I love this type of jazz! It’s music like this that makes me love Herbie Hancock so much. Wish I could have seen this performed live. My review is primarily for that song. I also enjoyed the two tracks after “Ostinato."


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, gospel,...
Full Bio
Mwandishi: The Complete Warner Bros. Recordings, Herbie Hancock
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  • $10.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Fusion, R&B/Soul, Funk
  • Released: Nov 22, 1994

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