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Takin Off [Original recording remastered]

Herbie Hancock, Herbie Hancock / Michael Brecker / Roy HargroveAudio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

Price: $12.48 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, 2007 $12.48  
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Watermelon Man (Rudy Van Gelder Edition) (2007 - Remaster) 7:09$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Three Bags Full (Rudy Van Gelder Edition) (2007 Digital Remaster) 5:26$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Empty Pockets (Rudy Van Gelder Edition) (2007 Digital Remaster) 6:12$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. The Maze (Rudy Van Gelder Edition) (2007 Digital Remaster) 6:48$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Driftin' (2007 - Remaster) 6:57$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Alone And I (Rudy Van Gelder Edition) (2007 Digital Remaster) 6:29$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Watermelon Man (Alternate Take) (Rudy Van Gelder Edition) (2007 Digital Remaster) 6:34$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Three Bags Full (Alternate Take) (Rudy Van Gelder Edition) (2007 Digital Remaster) 5:32$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Empty Pockets (Alternate Take) (Rudy Van Gelder Edition) (2007 Digital Remaster) 6:27$1.29  Buy MP3 

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Frequently Bought Together

Takin Off + Empyrean Isles + Maiden Voyage
Price for all three: $32.28

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  • Empyrean Isles $9.98
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 18, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Blue Note Records
  • ASIN: B000UO8BB6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,807 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Underrated February 23, 2004
Format:Audio CD
Jazz can be a very personal or subjective form of music. To me Takin' Off by Herbie Hancock is one of the best examples of early 1960's music. Other jazz classics of this time period are generally driven by the trumpet and alto sax. Takin' Off features no less than Freddie Hubbard, Dexter Gordon, Butch Warren, and Billy Higgins. But it is Hancock who is in charge of tempo and mood.
The result is an album of grace, character and soul. Watermelon Man, Empty Pockets and Driftin' are Hancock classics but all six original songs and the three alternate takes are first rate.
All of this was done by Hancock at age 22. No wonder he was able to easily move on to other, more understated forms of Jazz so easily (Maiden Voyage).
Takin' Off is very underrated and a worthy addition to any collection.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All-Star Lineup Makes this a Sure Thing July 22, 2002
Format:Audio CD
With the personnel on this recording I can't imagine it not satisfying the needs of any jazz listener.
"Takin' Off" makes a big addition to a well-seasoned jazz collection or a great starting-point for those just starting off.
The natural sound of the horns and the rhythm section together makes this one of my favorite acoustic jazz albums of all time. Freddie Hubbard is nothing short of perfect. His clean sound and virtuosity blend perfectly with Dexter Gordon, Herbie, and the rest of the gang.
I highly recommend "Takin' Off" for anyone. It is accessible to those who may have limited interest in jazz yet complex enough to keep jazz enthusiasts engaged.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An impressive work by Herbie Hancock October 25, 2000
Format:Audio CD
This is Herbie Hancock's first recording as a leader and it is impressive to say the least. From "Watermelon Man" to the alternate take of "Empty Pockets", Hancock shows listeners why he is considered one of the giants of Jazz. He shows his unique style on this 1962 album (CD), and just to think, he just got started! In a few years, he would join Miles Davis and become a member of one of the most famous quintets in Jazz History. It is easily apparent to see why Miles Davis was impressed with Hancock, and that itself was a difficult task, since Davis was very selective in who he wanted in his group. "Watermelon Man" is a selection that is just as fresh today as when it was first recorded 38 years ago, and the other works on this album (CD) are just as outstanding.
Highly recommended to all Jazz enthusiasts, it is well worth 5 stars (and more).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funky! November 26, 1999
Format:Audio CD
Now this is a debut. What was Herbie? 23 when this was recorded. It's just a fine album. And Dexter, Herbie and Billy Higgins are already previewing what they'd do together in 'Round Midnight, some 20+ years later.
Takin' off is great. They're all just so good. Forget about for a second Watermelon Man. You all know that's a classic. Classic Funk. And it's got an alternate take here. Three Bags Full and Empty Pockets have all that funk that that the former's got. You'll love em. Alone and I, the last song is just so pretty. Dexter just sounds so mellow, so calm and easy on this track.
Everything here is good. Everyone is good. Freddie Hubbard is so bright, you can see his trumpet shine everytime you hear this cd. The sound is great (no remastering!), Butch Warren's bass walks with a full, rich step. And Herbie funks it up all the way through, with Dexter Gordon and Billy Higgins giving their great support and esp like levels of communication.
Tis a great album here. Run out and get it. The first and the sixth track don't dissappoint as much as the whole album doesn't. Top notch.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why isn't this more popular? November 26, 2005
Format:Audio CD
In the last year or so, I've truly come to appreciate the second great miles davis quintet: Miles, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter, and Tony Williams. During that time, I've also come to appreciate early acoustic Herbie Hancock. If it were not for records like TAKIN OFF and MAIDEN VOYAGE, I sincerely believe there never would have been great albums like E.S.P., MILES SMILES, or NEFERTITI. TAKIN OFF really cooks.

TAKIN OFF is Hancock's first solo effort, and a strong one at that. The lineup is pretty impressive with Dexter Gordon (tenor sax), Freddie Hubbard (trumpet), Butch Warren (bass), and Billy Higgins (drums). I always thought Gordon was a much better sax player than George Coleman, who appears on MAIDEN VOYAGE, and would have liked to have seen him fill that role.

This record opens up with the popular 'Watermelon Man' which would appear again many years later on HEADHUNTERS, sounding completely different. I actually consider this to be one of the weaker tracks. Next is 'Three Bags Full' which has a beautifully phrased trumpet solo from Hubbard. The interplay between Herbie and the Gordon/Hubbard combination reminds me at times of hearing Coltrane playing with Thelonius Monk. Gordon also shines on this track, sounding comfortable in the setting, with a wonderful solo leading up to Herbie's moment in the sun.

My favorite track is 'Empty Pockets' which open up with Herbie playing the main theme followed by Gordon and Hubbard joining in a few measures later. Every few measures or so, the time doubles and swings for a few moments. The first soloist to follow is Hubbard over the main theme, with Gordon later on. This tracks swings hard at times, and is one of my favorite acoustic Herbie moments.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Herbie's breakthrough !
This is a good version of HH's first album on Blue Note. Good arrangements and players add to a great introduction for a musical career that has spanned and survived for four... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Gary Proctor
5.0 out of 5 stars real fine hancock
very good arrangements and a superb hancock sound.I am happy that I bought this fine piece,almost classic recording.
A pleasure to listen.
Published 17 months ago by hanroeders
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have!!!
I was trolling around on youtube and found an interview that Herbie had done about how he came to write "Watermelon Man. Read more
Published 22 months ago by James E. Gray II
5.0 out of 5 stars The introduction of excellence
Recorded in May 1962, midway through Herbie Hancock's two year Jazz apprenticeship that began the year before, all of the signs of his future greatness are here. Read more
Published on June 5, 2008 by Michael Birman
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good debut
While not quite a classic, Herbie's debut is still solid post-bop, even though there were better albums on the way. Read more
Published on March 25, 2008 by finulanu
5.0 out of 5 stars Herbie Takes Off
Takin' Off was Herbie Hancock's first album as a leader, having served as pianist for five previously released sessions with trumpeter Donald Byrd. Read more
Published on March 18, 2008 by Jack Baker
2.0 out of 5 stars Well, um, it's got "Watermelon Man" on it...
What is with jazz musicians naming their debuts egotistically anyway? Mingus' first major label album gets pegged as Pithecanthropus Erectus, which just screams "I am artist, hear... Read more
Published on November 18, 2007 by finulanu
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Gold
This album is pure gold. Dexter Gordon and Freddie Hubbard take some of the most melodic and beautiful solos in the history of recorded jazz- not to mention Herbie's solos, where... Read more
Published on March 24, 2006 by Wendy Fortunato
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the 60's
In originality and beauty, this set is only surpassed by the great "Maiden Voyage" a few years later. If you own only one HH album, make it one of these two. Read more
Published on February 20, 2002 by Andy Williamson
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