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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby



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Herbie Hancock

Jazz Moods – ‘Round Midnight’

Sony Music COL516427-2/516427200

 

 

 

 

1

On Green Dolphin Street

2

’Round Midnight

3

Munuit Aux Champs Elysèes

4

Look

5

Circle

6

Harvest Time

7

Pee Wee

8

Someday My Prince Will Come

9

Little One

10

Chan’s Song (Never Said)

11

My Funny Valentine

In 1963, when still in his early twenties, pianist Herbie Hancock was invited to join a newly formed Miles Davis group – it became one of the most influential jazz groups of the decade. On this compilation we have two excellent tracks from that era ‘Little One’ from ESP (1967) and ‘Circle’ released originally on Miles Smiles (1967). It is often claimed that ESP is the best album of the period closely followed by Miles Smiles. Both were recorded when Cannonball Adderley, John Coltrane and Dave Holland made regular appearances with Miles. Hancock wasn’t the only pianist Miles used, Chick Corea, Red Garland, Wynton Kelly and Bill Evans were also employed at times.

After leaving Miles in 1968 Hancock divided his attention between playing acoustic piano and electronic keyboard. This CD concentrates on his acoustic material both as a sideman and leader. In 1986 he won an Oscar for his contribution to the score of the accredited film ‘’Round Midnight.’ There are three tracks from an album issued under that name - ‘Minuit Aux Champs Elysèes,’ ‘’Round Midnight’ and ‘Chan’s Song.’ Other tracks are taken from ‘The Piano’ (1979) and Hancock’s trio and quartet releases of the 70s and 80s.

‘Green Dolphin Street’ is taken at a slow tempo and throughout Hancock explores its structure in a ‘classical’ yet very satisfactory manner – the same goes for ‘Some Day My Prince Will Come’ and ‘My Funny Valentine.’

This small, but welcome release, barely highlights why Herbie Hancock’s keyboard touch is so renowned. Over the years subsequent releases have reasserted his inventive genius thus making his mark on the tunes of some of today’s popular composers - often backed by such dynamic names as Michael Brecker and Wayne Shorter to name but two of an ever-increasing list.

Jack Ashby



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