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The Piano [Bonus Tracks]

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Herbie Hancock 8/10/2004

Review

Recorded after the funky fusion of Head Hunters, Thrust, Sextant, and other electric albums, and before the dawn of "Rockit" and more commercially viable and hip-hop-oriented material, Herbie Hancock took time out in 1978 to touch base again with his piano. Recorded completely solo, and live, direct to disc, where the tape is rolling and the performance is recorded directly to a master acetate without edits or overdubs of any kind (further constraints of the technology permitted performances of only 16 minutes in length per side), this set was issued only in Japan at the time, just as the truly awful Feets, Don't Fail Me Now was issued stateside. This is the very first time this set has been available in the United States, and Legacy has done a fantastic job, lengthening the original album by over 20 minutes with the inclusion of four alternate takes of issued material from the two-day session. The first half of the original album features Hancock playing jazz standards in truly elegant and restrained fashion. His treatments of "My Funny Valentine," "Green Dolphin Street," and "Someday My Prince Will Come" -- all performed during his tenure with the Miles Davis Quintet -- are elongated, morphed, and beautifully woven together as a suite. The latter half of the recording is comprised of four tracks: "Harvest Time," "Sonrisa," "Manhattan Island," and "Blue Otani," all of which are originals. These pieces are concerned compositionally with Hancock's preoccupation with the piano as a solo instrument. They are composed as formalist treatments that are extrapolated upon at several different junctures, or "turning points," within them. They embody notions of classical music à la Anton Webern, Fats Waller's blues, Erroll Garner's lyrical phrasing, and Bill Evans' harmonic sensibilities. They are, in sum, inseparable from one another and are usually performed as a suite. This is a stunning triumph for Hancock. ~ Thom Jurek
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 My Funny Valentine [Live Classics] Herbie Hancock 7:41
  3. 2 On Green Dolphin Street [Live Classics] Herbie Hancock 3:20
  4. 3 Someday My Prince Will Come [Live Classics] Herbie Hancock 4:32
  5. 4 Harvest Time [Live Classics] Herbie Hancock 4:48
  6. 5 Sonrisa [Live Classics] Herbie Hancock 3:41
  7. 6 Manhattan Island [Live Classics] Herbie Hancock 3:54
  8. 7 Blue Otani [Live Classics] Herbie Hancock 3:23
  9. 8 My Funny Valentine [Tk3 Alternate][Previously Unreleased][Live Classics] Herbie Hancock 6:3
  10. 9 On Green Dolphin Street [Tk2 Alternate][Previously Unreleased][Live Classics] Herbie Hancock 4:1
  11. 10 Someday My Prince Will Come [Previously Unreleased][Tk3 Alternate][Live Classics] Herbie Hancock 5:15
  12. 11 Harvest Time [Tk3 Alternate][Live Classics][Previously Unreleased] Herbie Hancock 5:10

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