October 14, 2008
Jazz, Funk, Jazz-Funk, Fusion, Jazz Instrument, Piano Jazz

Album Review

This slipcase box packs two of Herbie Hancock's most commercially successful and wildly inventive recordings into one package. Issued exactly a decade apart, these two records both issued in specific changes in the world of recorded sound. 1973's Head Hunters marked the true beginning of hardcore electric jazz-funk. As an album, its killer breaks, badass bass whomp, and infectious vamps connected immediately with both the rock & roll hordes as well as those beefing up on Funkadelic and Earth, Wind & Fire. The latter recording, produced by Bill Laswell, all but took Hancock out of the jazz realm altogether and forged something else out of a meld of hip-hop beats, scratching (courtesy of turntablist DST), and futurist jazz vibes -- thanks to the participation of Laswell and his crew of downtown N.Y.C. musicians as well as Wayne Shorter, guitarist Pete Cosey, and drummer Hamid Drake -- to funky world fusion from Toshinori Kondo, Aiyb Dieng, Foday Musa Suso, Sly Dunbar, Daniel Ponce, and others. The album scored a big single and dance club hit with "Rockit," and even won a Grammy. Despite the wild differences in feel, these two sets are a perfect complement to one another. Usually these two-fers are simply a way for a record company to clear their shelves of excess inventory, and provide little rhyme or reason for pairing or even tripling titles together in a dodgy package. In this case, the intention might be the same, but the result is aesthetically and funkily on target.
Thom Jurek, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Rockit
  2. Future Shock
  3. TFS
  4. Earth Beat
  5. Autodrive
  6. Rough
  7. Rockit [Mega Mix][*]
  8. Chameleon
  9. Watermelon Man
  10. Sly
  11. Vein Melter