Empyrean Isles Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, March 23, 1999
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Includes two bonus tracks.
Top Customer Reviews
The inclusion of both the indelible signature Herbie tune "Cantaloupe Island" and the adventurous, creative group improvisation "The Egg" both in their own unique way make this an important album. But what I really love about _Empyrean Isles_, and what grabbed me about it at the first, is how spontaneous and energetic the whole thing sounds, especially as compared with the more self-conscious, somewhat overrated (albeit still plenty good) _Maiden Voyage_. If you're interested enough in Herbie Hancock to get that one, you shouldn't be without _Empyrean Isles_.
In terms of the quality of the album as a vinyl re-release, you absolutely won't be disappointed at this price. Admittedly, I wouldn't have minded the inclusion of both alternate A-side takes that CD owners receive as bonus tracks -- but then again, the purist in me is happy to get to buy this album "new" and not "improved". (Excellent side note here: If you buy this from Amazon, you get the bonus tracks to download through AutoRip!)
As for the content, I've considered Empyrean Isles to be one of the gateways from a fan of jazz standards to be able to discover and enjoy jazz fusion. Moreover, I think anyone familiar with early jazz fusion (particularly some of Weather Report's more popular work) will find undeniable influences in The Egg, which is propelled by the preceding Cantaloupe Island.
Taking that from a completely different perspective, if you're introducing someone to more "traditional" jazz standards (or if you're discovering them yourself), the road goes both ways. If you're not approaching the album with a hard set list of what jazz "should" be, I think this is an incredibly accessible album for modern listeners.
I won't comment on the musical content as others have done a great job with that except to say that this is one of the finest Blue Note sessions ever recorded. At this writing there are a few used copies of the first remaster done by Ron McMaster. I would recommend that you grab that issue instead.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have owned this classic masterpiece for many years. it was one of my early favorites long ago and as my jazz collection has continued growing to well over a thousand... Read morePublished 10 months ago by JW
No accompanying tenor on this record. Herbie plays some nice harmonies while Freddie covers the melodies The Freddie is a powerhouse on trumpet. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Michael T.