There is no question the music world was rocked by Herbie Hancock taking Album of the Year at this past Sunday’s 50th Grammy awards ceremony. His album River: The Joni Letters, is a unique interpretation of Joni Mitchell classics. Jazz has typically been overlooked when it comes to the major categories like song or album of the year. But not this time.
Mr. Hancock’s legacy and talent goes deep, having played a Mozart piano concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra when he was only 11 years old. He has played with The Miles Davis Quintet, scored numerous films and television episodes and introduced Wynton Marsalis to the world by producing his first album in 1980. And oh yeah, releasing dozens of fantastic musical gems.
I’m not especially knowledgeable about jazz, but I have always been attracted to Mr. Hancock’s musical styles and unique, classic sound. I own quite a few of his albums and was hooked from the get go with Maiden Voyage (1965) up through New Standard (1996), which contains songs written by Peter Gabriel and The Beatles. His music is what my mind spontaneously conjures up when someone mentions jazz. Didn’t particularly care for his more out there electronic jazz-funk work, but that’s the beauty of a record collection, I mean CD collection (sorry, digital collection). You can listen any time you darn well please.