Better Know a Jazz Musician

February 6, 2014
I was listening to Herbie Hancock's album Head Hunters yesterday, and realized that it and Empyrean Isles are basically all I know of his work. Realizing that my knowledge of Jazz is pretty spotty in general, I'm trying an experiment: I'm making thursdays my "get to know an artist day". Armed with their discography (courtesy of AllMusic) and Spotify (which has pretty extensive coverage of Jazz albums), I'm going to pick an artist and make my way through their catalogue while I work. So what's Herbie Hancock's been up to in the last 50 years?
Quite a lot, it turns out. There were a few suprising things I learned, including the fact that he wrote some of the score to the 70s vigalante Charles Bronson film Death Wish. He also did a straigh-up disco albumn called Feets Don't Fail Me Now, which, despite some amazing cover art, is pretty bad. And he made some really stand-out albumns from 1962 to 2010. These include early, heavily-bop-inflected albums like My Point of View and Maiden Voyage; mid-career albums like Man Child and Flood, that move towards funk; and some late-career works that include River: The Joni Letters (covers of Joni Mitchell songs).
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