Friday, July 20, 2018

Herbie Hancock - 1971-07-21, Nice, France

You'll know it when you get there...

After his run with Miles Davis' live group, and a stint as a bandleader on Blue Note, Herbie Hancock leaned hard into fusion and the sounds of Joe Zawinul and In A Silent Way Davis. Taking a cue from the Swahili word for writer, Hancock adopted the name Mwandishi, which extended to his group: Buster Williams, Bennie Maupin, Billy Hart, Leon Chancler,  Julian Priester and Eddie Henderson. Their music was dark, swirling and took cues from rock instrumentation - note the electric piano - and what Miles was calling "directions in music." There's an interesting similarity here, I think, to the similar dense sounds of early Weather Report, especially in the way things swirl around and slowly build up the tension, giving the band ample space to improvise. I'd argue there's a little more funk in here, but that goes more towards Buster Williams' playing than as a slight to Miroslav Vitous' playing.

I'd have to go through this again to double-check the exact lineup, but I'm reasonably confident that the whole Mwandishi lineup is present on this very nice gig from July, 1971. The sound's as good as you'd want it, and the set is packed with good stuff. Only three tunes - "You'll Know It When You Get There," "Toys," and "Be What," but each is stretched out for about 20 minutes, so there's a lot to take in. Definitely not yhe

1 comment:

M. Milner said...

Herbie '71: