Herbie Hancock Box Box set, Original recording remastered
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Top Customer Reviews
Disc 1 contains 9 excellent acoustic jazz tracks from the late 1970s and early 1980s, featuring VSOP, Herbie's quartet with Wynton Marsalis (one track only), a solo piano track, and a nice track with Bobby McFerrin + jazz trio. One of the VSOP cuts is a live performance of Maiden Voyage, which is probably the best version I've ever heard - high energy, superb solos, great arrangement. Several of these tracks are previously unreleased (including Maiden Voyage) or available only on pricey imports.
Disc 2 also focuses on acoustic jazz, featuring tracks by VSOP, the Chick Corea/Herbie Hancock duets, and a jazz trio with Tony Williams and Ron Carter, all recorded in the late 70s or early 80s. Again, several of these tracks are previously unissued or on hard-to-find imports.
Disc 3 contains 9 electric funk tracks, mainly from the Headhunters era (Thrust, Sextant, Headhunters, Secrets). One of these tracks, Actual Proof, is from an excellent live double-cd import set called Flood, which you should grab if you can find a copy. Disc 3 also includes two tracks from solo albums, the 1978 release "Sunlight" and the 1980 disc "Mr. Hands", both of which should be in your collection if you're into Herbie's 1970s/80s electric jazz period.
Disc 4 contains a few more Headhunters-era tracks (including the hit Chameleon), plus some newer stuff (tracks from Monster, Future Shock, Magic Windows, Sound System, and Perfect Machine). Of course, the mega-hit Rockit is included.Read more ›
My answer is that they don't care at all, that their prime concern is creating something supposedly hip, trendy, and edgy with which they can win a design award. They couldn't care less if the people who buy this music can't easily access the discs, or if those discs are protected (on my set, every disc had come out of its slot in handling).
After the Louis Armstrong Hot Fives (rough cardboard = scratched discs) and the Charlie Christian box (bare CD's stuffed upright in foam slits) fiascos, you'd think Columbia would wise up. We jazz lovers don't want what some cockamamie design and marketing goons think will look "cool" -- it's the MUSIC that's cool! Give it to us so that it's easily accessible and well protected, and fire whoever was responsible for this embarrassment so that it doesn't happen again!
The first two discs of the set give a snapshot of Herbie's strengths in acoustic jazz. Though it is unfortunate that no Blue Note recordings from the 1960s were included, they won't be terribly missed. Instead, the box includes a generous helping of music originally released only in Japan during the 1970s. Some tracks were recorded live with the V.S.O.P. quintet (with Wayne Shorter, Freddie Hubbard, Ron Carter and Tony Williams) while others were recorded as a trio with Carter and Williams, or purely solo. A couple of personal highlights for me were the live V.S.O.P. recording of the Williams composition "Para Oriente" and the trio recording of "Milestones." The rhythms on the latter especially are influenced by the electric music Hancock and Williams were concurrently creating, and make for a very original sounding approach to the jazz trio. This approach is being further explored today by the up-and-coming New York jazz trio The Bad Plus.
The other two discs cover Herbie's wide range of electric jazz/funk/dance recordings. Disc three primarily focuses on the much loved "Headhunters" style funk, drawing material from that album as well as "Thrust," "Manchild," "Secrets," the "Death Wish" soundtrack and even a track from 1980's unjustly overlooked "Mr. Hands" featuring Jaco Pastorius on bass. Disc four combines some more material from that period with highlights from his '80s collaborations with Bill Laswell.
Overall, this box makes a great case for Herbie Hancock's importance in jazz and pop music. His acoustic work was innovative in its time and is still enjoyed today, while his electric work was sometimes very commercially successful and sometimes widely reviled.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
When I read some of the comments here about the weird translucent cube in which these CDs are packaged, I thought the criticism might be a bit over the top. But nooo! Read morePublished on July 12, 2013 by Harry
If you want a sample of all his work, this is the one to get. I love it and have it copied to my hard drive, and the Box set sets on my display of most prized CD- box sets (in the... Read morePublished on June 25, 2010 by K. Frazier
Don't wait. Buy this box set now !!! To much music to digest ,but what a pleasure trying.Published on May 12, 2007 by Roy E
I gave this compilation of songs a one because there was no zero. This must be a gathering of Hancocks worst ever. Read morePublished on August 22, 2006 by gino
This 4-CD set is issued in a lucite, hard-plastic see-through rubic-cube type shell. In trying to find the right "door" to slide open, I actually skint my finger trying to slide... Read morePublished on March 15, 2006 by Emmett Miller
I cannot comment on the music contained in the Herbie Hancock Box, because I cannot get past the packaging. Read morePublished on December 21, 2003
The Herbie Hancock box is art. The packaging and the music reflects this artist. The set features 34 hits that made Herbie a superstar. Read morePublished on July 24, 2003 by Brandon Ousley
I think this box set is great. Herbie has always wanted to make a point weather it be through his music or in this case the package design of this box set. Read morePublished on January 21, 2003 by David Amadio