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Best Of

22 customer reviews

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Audio CD, November 14, 1988
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$10.95 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 4 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Whether it's your "maiden voyage" or you're already a Hancock fan, this is the perfect sampling of his '60s best: Watermelon Man; Dolphin Dance; Maiden Voyage; Cantaloupe Island; Driftin'; Riot , and more gorgeous jazz, funky classics and forays into fusion!


Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
  1. Watermelon Man 7:11Album Only
  2. Driftin' 7:00$1.29  Buy MP3 
  3. Maiden Voyage 7:58Album Only
  4. Dolphin Dance 9:20Album Only
  5. One Finger Snap 7:20Album Only
  6. Cantaloupe Island 5:34$1.29  Buy MP3 
  7. Riot 4:39$1.29  Buy MP3 
  8. Speak Like A Child 7:49Album Only
  9. King Cobra (1963 Digital Remaster) 6:53$1.29  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 14, 1988)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Blue Note
  • ASIN: B000005HEX
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #141,604 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Alf Kremer on July 2, 2000
Format: Audio CD
OK, there's only so many hours in a day, and some of it (supposedly) has to be spent sleeping and working. Therefore we can't listen to all of the albums we want to. Thankfully, there are albums like this one, which distill most of the best of Herbie Hancock's early work into an easy to carry 5" CD. Any gripe I could give are minor - f'r'instance, a track from PRISONER wouldn't've hurt. But for anyone who's interested in the jazz work of Herbie Hancock - oh, heck, anyone who's interested in jazz at all - would do well to pick this up.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By 3rdeadly3rd on June 8, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I got switched on to Herbie Hancock via his sample on Us3's "Cantaloop" and haven't looked back since. This album really shows what a talented pianist/composer he is.
Coming as I do from a rap background, I didn't think that instrumentals clocking up to 9 minutes could really hold my interest - ths CD proves me wrong. A lot of the tracks are really songs with no words, a "chorus" is played, then one of the instruments does a solo/verse, then back to the chorus again. What's more, the talent and love with which these people play is incredible to hear.
I must have listened to tracks like "Watermelon Man", "One Finger Snap", "Driftin'" and "Canteloupe Island" a bit too much because I can hear them even now when writing the review. Every single one of these pieces is great in so many ways. Not being a musician myself, I can't really express it very well. Suffice to say that the music here really is moving.
Some of the standout moments here (all the tracks are standouts) are as follows:
The intro/chorus on "Driftin'"
The sax solo on that same track
Most of "Watermelon Man"
The horn playing on "Canteloupe Island"
The drum solo on "One Finger Snap"
I'm not entirely certain whether these show Hancock at his best (having composed the pieces) or the other players at their best playing them - but it certainly shows talent. Hancock seems to have had a knack of surrounding himself and his brilliant piano skills with other performers of comparable talent.
After listening to this so many times, I only have one question in my mind - what on earth is a fluglehorn?
That aside, this is a truly great album by one of the best artists in the business. Well worth the money.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By S J Buck on October 30, 2007
Format: Audio CD
This is a great introduction to Herbie Hancock as both a gifted Jazz Pianist and as a composer. These nine tracks capture him during his Blue Note period recording under his own name whilst still playing as Pianist for Miles Davis in the famous 1960's band.

Starting with the famous 'Watermelon Man' you might be really surprised here. After Dexter Gordon's brilliant Tenor Sax solo Herbie's solo is a very simple and bluesy - not the cascade of notes you might expect from a virtuoso Pianist. 'Maiden Voyage' is a beautiful track which evokes its title as well as any track I can think of. Its initial apparent simplicity is actually very misleading as the rhythm is rather complicated. On this track George Coleman is on Tenor sax, but the highlight is Freddie Hubbards brilliant Trumpet solo, both lyrical and inventive this is marvellous playing.

There are numerous other wonderful tracks on this CD. 'Dolphin Dance' is a great tune. 'One Finger Snap' contains a wonderful moment (at 4:09) where Herbie Hancock evokes memories of Count Basie in a little Piano riff he plays. The original version of Cantaloupe Island follows this track. Playing this recently I was amazed how slow it is. Again on this track fabulous playing by all the musicians.

The other musicians (I haven't already mentioned) on this album are:
Thad Jones - Flugelhorn
Donald Byrd - Trumpet
Grachan Moncur III - Trombone
Hank Mobley - Tenor Sax
Peter Phillips - Bass Trombone
Jerry Dodgion - Alto Flute
Chuck Israels - Bass
Butch Warren - Bass
Ron Carter - Bass
Billy Higgins - Drums
Tony Williams - Drums
Mikey Roker - Drums

The tracks are taken from the albums 'Takin Off', 'Maiden Voyage', 'Empyrean Isles', 'Speak Like a Child' and 'My Point of View' recorded between 1962 and 1968.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By hoarselord on November 23, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I think this compilation is fantastic. The extent of my knowledge of jazz is Miles Davis, Thelonius Monk, John Coltrane and a few others- the most popular artists- and Herbie Hancock is definately among the greatest. Each of these songs is catchy, moody, thematic and wonderful. The disc is one of my favorites, and it's made me excited to learn more about jazz music.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jay on February 19, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Although all of these songs are from Herbie Hancock's earlier period, they do make up a very solid collection. Classics like the now standard "Watermelon Man" are songs that you never get tired of, especially when you have great players like Freddie Hubbard and Wayne Shorter in the band. The line-ups on this album are very strong throughout. If you're looking for Herbie Hancock's more futuristic sounding tunes then this album is not what you're looking for. If you're looking for a good collection of his early work, or if you're new to Herbie Hancock and need to find a good introductory disc, then this is definitely the place to go.
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