The Village Caller Music Show: Herbie Hancock The Chameleon of Music

Herbie HancockHerbie Hancock was born in Chicago on April 12, 1940 and is one of America’s greatest jazz pianist, arranger composer and band leader in the jazz world.

Herbie had the greatest influence on my musical taste. It was about 1963 that my taste in music started drifting towards jazz from an exclusive diet of rhythm and blues. Miles Davis was also helping to change my musical maturity, and it was at this time that Herbie and Miles were part of the same  ensemble with Ron Carter, Tony Williams, and Wayne Shorter called Miles Davis’s “Second Greatest Quintet”.

The “Second Greatest Quintet” was where Hancock found his own voice as a pianist. Not only did he find new ways to use common chords, but he also popularized chords, that had not previously been used in jazz. Hancock also developed a unique taste for “orchestral” accompaniment, using quartal harmony and Debussy-like harmonies, with stark contrasts then unheard of in jazz.

Herbie Hancock, with Williams and Carter wove a labyrinth of rhythmic intricacy on, around and over existing melodic and chordal schemes. In the latter half of the 1960s, their approach became so sophisticated and unorthodox that conventional chord changes would hardly be discernible; hence their improvisational concept would become known as “Time, No Changes” (Source:Wikipedia).

As music transitioned into other forms, Herbie was able to change his style and yet maintain his character. He was a true chameleon. Herbie led me through all the musical transformations in music over the past fifty years, and although the form changed, his substance was the same.

Maiden Voyage

 Vein Melter

I Thought it Was You

Come Running To Me

Tell Me A Bedtime Story

Bill Tucker I hope you enjoyed the show.  Your host, Bill Tucker


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