Herbie Hancock at 75

Back Cover of Herbie Hancock's 1978 Columbia LP "Sunlight"
Back Cover of Herbie Hancock’s 1978 Columbia LP “Sunlight”

While I’m still not finished reading his memoir, “Possibilities”, Herbie Hancock is busy on a successful duo tour with fellow pianist Chick Corea. Herbie celebrates his 75th birthday today and as you know, all of his albums are masterpieces, whatever the genre. From his 60s Blue Note Records with the classic “Watermelon Man” or “Cantaloupe Island” or “Maiden Voyage” through his 70s Mwandishi period and the Headhunters all the way to the early 80s Rockit phenomenon or the late Joni Mitchell tribute album and the Wayne Shorter duo wonder. Whatever he touches, it’s simply genius. The period from the mid 70s to his 1982 album “Lite Me Up” has a lot to offer, even though he had been criticised as selling out and bullshit like that. But his Funk, Soul and Disco stuff is just mindblowing.

Just look at the list of the keyboards he used for his 1978 LP “Sunlight” which features the 9-minute epic “I Thought It Was You” and the 8:23 minute bliss of “Come Running To Me”. Herbie plays Oberheim Polyphonic Synthesizer, Obie I, Yamaha CP-30, Hohner D6 Clavinet, ARP 2600, Mini-Moog, ARP String Ensemble, Yamaha Polyphonic Synthesizer and Sequential Circuits Prophet Synthesizer, ARP Odyssey, Poly-Moog, Micro-Moog, E Mu Polyphonic Synthesizer, Rhodes Electric Piano, and of course the Acoustic Piano.

The Herbie Hancock/Chick Corea tour has stops in Toronto, Ann Arbor, Chicago, and Carmel this month, Taipei, Seoul, Brisbane, Melbourne, Auckland, and Sydney in May and here are the dates for Europe (I’m listening to his 1980 “Monster” LP while writing this. The album features the unbelievably soulful “Making Love” with vocals by Greg Walker. After that, it’s time for the 1982 LP “Lite Me Up” which has a lot of Rod Temperton compositions and is one of the best-produced albums ever):

7/03 Lyon, Les Nuits de Fouviere

7/04 Paris, Olympia

7/05 Brussels, Palais des Beaux Arts

7/06 London, Barbican

7/07 London, Barbican

7/09 Copenhagen, Jazz Festival

7/10 Rotterdam, Northsea Jazz Festival

7/11 Essen, Ruhr Piano Festival

7/19 Lisbon, Coll Jazz Festival

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