In Herbie Hancock legendary jazz musician and composer Herbie Hancock reflects on a thriving career that has spanned seven decades. A true innovator, Hancock has had an enormous influence on both acoustic and electric jazz, R&B and hip-hop, with his ongoing exploration of different musical genres, garnering 14 Grammy Awards along the way.
From his beginnings as a child prodigy to his work in Miles Davis's second great quintet; from his innovations as the leader of his own groundbreaking sextet to his collaborations with everyone from Wayne Shorter to Joni Mitchell and Stevie Wonder; Herbie Hancock reveals the method behind Hancock's undeniable musical genius.
Hancock discusses his musical influences, colorful behind-the-scenes stories, his long and happy marriage, and how Buddhism inspires him creatively and personally. Honest, enlightening, and as electrifyingly vital as the man who wrote it, Herbie Hancock promises to be an invaluable contribution to jazz literature and a must-read for fans and music lovers.
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By Joyce on 21-06-15
High Marks All Round
Herbie Hancock tells his story with wisdom and wit. I learned a lot about both jazz and how to live a life.
I have long been drawn toward meditation and admiration of the Buddhist way of life. His embrace of this "religion" (I use quotes as I object to organized religion and consider myself an atheist) has guided him. In spite of the many obstacles in his way he has managed to live a pretty stress free life. He, and I, mostly attribute that phenomon to his attachment to a form of Buddhism.
However, there is another very important element here of which he is well aware: As a black kid growing up in Chicago's South side in the '40s, he was extraordinarily lucky to have had loving parents who were both willing and able to encourage him all along the way. He comes across across as a fun loving and very kind young man who is probably a genius of some sort. He is as nonjudgmental of others as he is critical of himself. He studies himself almost as tenaciously as he does the new music thresholds he is forever seeking out. His antennae are in constant motion. He is swept away over and over again by some new and extraordinary musical innovation. Way ahead of his time, or, as some think, just a sellout. I don't at all agree with that latter assessment. In any case, I haven't the "chops" to critique him or his detractors. I just found him eminently trustworthy, and someone we are lucky to have on this planet.
If I have one cavil it is this. THERE SHOUD BE SOME MUSIC The story is only frustrating in that the music he discusses (in exuberant and delicious detail) remains unheard. For example, when he tells of how he finally found the right chord for "Maiden Voyage", a major Hancock album and song, one longs to hear it then and there. I wonder if some music might have been added. It would show just what an "audiobook" can do. When reading one doesn't expect to "hear"; when "listening", one does.
However, that said, the writing and his reading of it are what you would expect from this concert pianist, science major, turned Jazz musician. His organization of the material is meticulous and his voice and delivery are just right. He writes with humility and verve.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful
By Cliff Finch on 06-07-15
Whether it be the genius of audible all the voice of Herbie Hancock, its the first book iv ever truly completed. Though I love books, reading has always been a challenge for me. Add, I suppose, I'm not sure. Being a musician myself, for over 35 years, I know of Herbie Hancock's history. It was spoken with such deaph and truth that I could hardly put down my device. I could hardly wait you today to come home and read another chapter or two. I recommend this book to anyone that wants to see what an artist goes through in his or her walk to discover themselfs. 5 start all the the.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful