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Herbie Hancock – Maiden Voyage

Submitted by Tim on February 26, 2011 – 9:08 amNo Comment
Herbie H1 Herbie Hancock   Maiden Voyage
Released in May of 1965, Maiden Voyage was Herbie Hancock’s fifth release as a band leader and followed the musically innovative and commercially successful Empyrean Isles. While considered to have taken fewer musical risks than in his previous release, Hancock’s Maiden Voyage is a sonically lush album that has come to be seen as one of his best.

Ever the adventurous creator, Hancock took the vastness of the sea as his inspiration for this project. He challenged his talented quintet to explore the concept of creating an oceanic atmosphere through their use of space and tonal textures. The result is a unique combination of attainable lyrical jazz with more experimental hard bop.

The quintet consists of Herbie Hancock on piano, Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, George Coleman on tenor saxophone, Ron Carter on bass and Tony Williams on drums. Together the quintet explores five Hancock originals which seem to exist as platforms for the groups cutting-edge solos. Not that Maiden Voyage is simply a jazz jam record devoid of structure. To the contrary, it is Hancock’s minimalistic compositions that create the space for individual and group exploration while allowing for just enough structure for the to create a memorable and unified whole.

While to some, Maiden Voyage may not be the best cocktail party music due to it’s alternating melodic explorations with it’s riskier edge-pushing hard bob pieces, I believe it is one of Herbie Hancok’s best calling cards as a pianist, composer and band leader. Enshrined in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999, Maiden Voyage is definitely one you should have in your collection.


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