The musical output of pianist and composer Herbie Hancock is a design rarely seen in jazz; a child prodigy working their way up the ranks to elder statesman and influencing an entire generation of musicians across numerous genres. Sowing his oats in classical repertoire, Hancock used jazz to satiate his musical curiosities enhanced by his undying love of the technological advancements of the day. As a result, Hancock has traversed expectations and continues to be a staple in mainstream music.
In concert with his performance style, Hancock’s compositional efforts have added to the jazz canon and remain popular standards today. Like a musical protein, Hancock has used jazz as his foundation and added his own personal spices creating a unique harmonic invention. In addition to being a virtuoso pianist and composer, Hancock has explored many forms of music such as rock, funk and world music, always looking ahead rather than rehashing what has already been accomplished. Hancock’s chameleon-like ways of changing musical direction to broaden contemporary styles has been met with excitement from both peers and fans alike. But all of this came naturally to Hancock, whose boundless energy and creativity formed the music he loved so deeply.
In Experiencing Herbie Hancock: A Listener’s Companion, author Eric Wendell looks beyond the successes and failures of Hancock’s career in an effort to explore Hancock’s musical design both within the jazz community and within the popular mainstream. Furthermore, Wendell will explore the dramatic impact that Hancock has held on the jazz community and how his efforts have fostered the cross-genre continuity of modern jazz practitioners.
Experiencing Herbie Hancock: A Listener’s Companion, is an ideal work for jazz aficionados, music students and anyone who appreciates the efforts of an artist that would rather look ahead to the great unknown then tread backwards on past endeavors.