If you don’t know who Herbie Hancock is then you might need to bone up on your musical knowledge just a bit since he’s one of the greats that the business has produced throughout the long history of music and he’s still active to this day. It would seem that, according to Jazz Monroe from Pitchfork that Herbie is thinking of going on tour with famed sax player Kamasi Washington sometime this year. While you still might be struggling with the concept of who he is you might want to just check up on his name on Google and see the list of accomplishments that pops up, and then listen to a few of the songs and see if you’ve heard them before. The chances seem good that you’ve heard at least a couple since Herbie has been contributing to the music industry now as a jazz composer for many years, which can be seen if you visit Biography and take a look. After doing that you might have a better idea of who he is and what he’s done and thereby really begin to understand his music.
Here are a few of Herbie’s best songs to date.
5. Ready Or Not
Jazz on its own is something you really need to listen to in order to get into since it has a lot of hidden notes behind the actual notes that you hear. But in this case Herbie managed to create something that was all his own and trained his ear to listen to the distinctions between various musical pieces that enabled him to come up with something fresh, new, and able to interest the people that he was selling his tracks to. Having been around for so long you can imagine that he’s seen a lot of changes in the business in his time, but he’s also likely seen how his music has influenced those that have come following after him.
4. Cantaloupe Island
If you recognize this piece then you’ve likely heard the song Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia) by Us3. The funny thing is that according to Kory Grow from Spin Herbie actually liked the fact that the group sampled his song and used it as a basis for their own. It is a fun song and if you’ve ever heard it you’ve likely wanted to dance to it since it moves in a very rhythmic and quick fashion that kind of demands some sort of action it would seem. But before Us3 got a hold of it this song was actually a nice piece and was calm and relaxing for the most part, but what they did to it was easily nice if not quite as relaxing.
It definitely helps to be into this music if you’re going to listen to it. But standing from an objective distance you can at least gain some respect for it as you listen to the different beats and the mix quality that Herbie became known for during his career and is still well-known for today. It was definitely indicative of the times with the fat beats and kind of bouncing nature as it rolled along. But that was the era and that was what was popular. In some ways it’s still popular, though it’s more about nostalgia at this point since this type of music might one day make a comeback, but it won’t be all that soon.
Freaky as this video is it’s still something that seems indicative of the time in which it was created since the manic motions of the props in the video aren’t completely without purpose, but they definitely don’t seem to do much more than paint a strange and macabre picture of…well, something. You’d have to look this one up or ask Herbie just what was meant by the images in the video since quite honestly it gets a little freaky and is really open to interpretation of all sorts. The music itself is something great since it moves along at a good clip and doesn’t sit still, thereby facilitating constant movement.
1. Groove Is In The Heart
It seems pretty obvious that most people have heard this song once or twice in their lives since it’s been a pervasive track for a long time. While it was performed by Dee-Lite it was written by Herbie, so he does get the credit for it’s creation. It’s a fun song and keeps people moving but you can kind of sympathize with the people in the bar since after only a couple of times the song does get just a bit annoying since it’s one of those tracks that you can’t help but thinking is so much easier to stomach when you’re drunk. Quite honestly there are songs like this, and obviously this is one of them.
But otherwise, Herbie is genius.
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