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4.2 out of 5 stars 126 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 30, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Possibilities is a series of inspired close encounters between a multi-genre master and some of the most gifted vocalists and songwriters of the last three decades -- plus a few seriously talented folks who are still just getting started. Forget long distance digital alchemy or disembodied duets, this one's all about face to face, heart to heart, real to reel. Vector. 2005.

Possibilities, by jazz piano/keyboard legend Herbie Hancock, with songs by Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, and Leon Russell, is a multigenerational masterpiece. Rock's "it boy" John Mayer leads off the CD with the spare, bouncy opener, "Stitched Up." Brit-born soul girl Joss Stone and bluesman Jonny Lang get down on the gutbucket "When Love Comes to Town." Christina Aguilera’s excellent vocals illuminate "A Song for You." Not to be outdone, Annie Lennox delivers an operatic take on Holly Cole’s "Hush, Hush, Hush," while Sting's "Sister Moon" swings with stealthy syncopations. Santana and the Beninese singer Angelique Kidjo provide the world flavor on "Safiotou," and the dreamy "Gelo No Montana," with ex-Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio, is the lone instrumental. Hancock’s tight solos and intelligent orchestral synths radiate all of the tracks. Like Frank Sinatra’s Duets and Ray Charles’s Genius Loves Company, Possibilities introduces Hancock to a new and awestruck generation. --Eugene Holley, Jr.

Recommended Herbie Hancock Discography

Maiden Voyage (RVG Edition)


Speak Like a Child (RVG Edition)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Stitched Up
  2. Safiatou
  3. A Song For You
  4. I Do It For Your Love
  5. Hush, Hush, Hush
  6. Sister Moon
  7. When Love Comes To Town
  8. Don't Explain
  9. I Just Called To Say I Love You featuring Raul Midon (also featuring Stevie Wonder on harmonica)
  10. I Just Called To Say I Love You

Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 30, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner P&D
  • Run Time: 58 minutes
  • ASIN: B000AARK2Q
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,034 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Lund on August 31, 2005
Format: Audio CD
The pre-release word-of-blog regarding POSSIBILITIES among a number of long-time Herbie Hancock fans has largely been suspicious of this album's potential for bridging stylistic gaps among some, if not all of the album's guests. And the Starbucks connection also left many seeing this as a marketing gimmick. Well, even if it was built to attract fans of the guests as much or more than Hancock, the bottom line is: does the music succeed as an effective reflection of Herbie's strengths, as well as being a compatible showcase for the guests?

I would say the answer is usually one or the other, but only occasionally both. If you are a Hancock fan who wants to hear him to best advantage, you'll have to satisfied on much of POSSIBILITIES with nice acoustic piano solos that sound overdubbed after-the-fact onto tracks he otherwise doesn't seem to be much involved in. Roughly half the tracks fall into that category (including ones with John Mayer, Santana & Angelique Kidjo, and Jonny Lang & Joss Stone). Herbie seems more in the center of things on the other half, such as on worthwhile tracks by Sting, Paul Simon, Damien Rice & Lisa Hannigan, and even the Christina Aguilera cut works both sides of the fence quite well. Yet only on the final track "Gelo Na Montanha" is Herbie in the forefront from beginning to end. In my opinion, this CD would have been a more effective Herbie Hancock album if it had a 50/50 mix of the most successful vocal/piano collaborations with instrumentals that allow Herbie to be the star of his own show (ala recent Santana albums that were roughly a half-Santana, half Santana-with-guests split).

If the guest list generally looks attractive to the potential buyer, I think you're more likely to be satisfied with this album.
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Format: Audio CD
I had read about this CD long before it was released and was excited to see Herbie Hancock would be collaborating with quite a few of my favourites; Stevie Wonder, Joss Stone, Santana, John Mayer, Annie Lennox and Sting to name a few. Comprising mostly covers with a couple of co-writes by Hancock, and the talents of the featured guests, however, I must confess, there was also the slight nagging fear that it might turn out to be some glossy, over produced commercial pop shlock.

One listen tells you this isn't so. Classy production, the vocal or instrumental skills of the guests which do not detract from, or overshadow the excellent piano playing of the man himself, make for a beautiful musical experience.

My favourites have got to be the lush, drawn out jazzy, totally transformed performance of `I just called to say I love you' featuring Raul Midón on vocals and Stevie Wonder on Harmonica on the last minute and a half of the song, and a beautifully melancholic piano sprinkled version of Billie Holliday's `Don't explain' featuring Damien Rice and Lisa Hannigan (what a voice she has and excellent phrasing) on dreamy vocals, a beautiful weeping cello solo, and almost-not-there shuffling percussion. My absolute favourite!

`Gelo na montanha' is a Hancock co-composition, a beautiful instrumental number with guitar (and Ooo vocals) from Trey Anastasio (formerly of Phish). Opening track is the Hancock/Mayer composition `Stitched up' featuring John Mayer on guitar and vocals, sounding a wee bit like a piano laden Sting number. 'When Love Comes To Town' featuring Jonny Lang and Joss Stone is a blues-y take on the U2 song.
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Format: Audio CD
The reviewers that do not like for the most part are true jazz purists. They have an indignance about this that reminds me of Bob Dylan being booed the first time he pulled out his electric guitar at a folk festival in the mid 60's. Come on this is great stuff. One of the best songs John Mayer has ever recorded is the discs opener "Stitched Up". The keyboards are killer. This song is a turn it up real loud and drive down the coast highway on a sunny day kinda song. At least it was until gas started climbing to 5 bucks a gallon. Don't turn that cd player down yet. The next song has Carlos Santana and Angelique Kidjo joining Herbie. If you don't move to this song, you're dead. the disc's biggest surprise is the third cut with Christina Aguilera singing Leon Russel's classic "Song For You". OK, here's my snobbery showing but who would have thought she had those pipes. Been a long time since I'd heard a "Song For You" and I love Herbie's arrangement. Paul Simon's colloboration is surprisingly the discs weakest collaboration. The disc has two other standout tracks. Annie Lennox is the only artist that I know of where everything she's done for the last quarter century has been a constent improvement over her earlier work. "Hush, Hush, Hush" is a great little Annie Lennox fix until her follow up to "Bare". "When Love Comes to Town" teams up Jonny Lang and Joss Stone for a bluesy rendition of the U2 song. It is my second favorite song to John Mayer's. They could do the entire grammy show with this cast of performers. Hell, maybe they will.
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