phunkey

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About phunkey

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  1. Herbie and Chick

    +1. Same goes for the Eastern Airlines commercial that spawned "You'll know when you get there", or the Silva Thins commercial that was the precursor to "He who lives in fear". Never found any of these, but Herbs seems to have been a business-savvy jingle composer in the mid to late 60s...
  2. Miles Davis and Gil Evans 1968

    I did once ask Bob about this concert, and as Bertrand pointed out, there only seems to be a tape with very poor audio quality...
  3. Ike Takes Back River Deep Mountain High

    That's interesting - in various interviews as well as the foreword to "The Buddha In Your Mirror" Herbie says that he was first introduced to buddhism in 1972 through Buster Williams. Do you know when and why Herbie joined SGI?
  4. the end of jazz

    I would say that Nat King Cole heavily drew from the Great American Songbook. I wouldn't say that this was music requiring actual thought, understanding and consideration. Legend has it that the 'informed audience' in Germany threw assorted vegetables at Miles' quintet in 1967 - though I don't know whether this was during "I Fall In Love Too Easily" or during "Riot". Point being, these sound like sweeping generalisations and melancholic utterances to me. I have yet to find any evidence that today's audience is any less informed than in the supposed heyday of jazz, or that there is less 'useable' material.
  5. the end of jazz

    This sentiment is probably shared by 95% of the members here, as 95% of threads discuss obscure releases from the 1950s or 60s rather than new releases and young artists. Still I think there is a difference between a personal feeling that jazz is at a creative dead end and simply declaring jazz dead because today's artists have allegedly jettisoned the Songbook (read 'holy source').
  6. the end of jazz

    The wellspring of 'jazz writing' is its reductionist fetish for biblical/canonical essentialism. Utter tosh, and boring too...
  7. Herbie/Headhunters 1974

    Some good observations indeed, though I beg to differ on one account. Head Hunters may have not been 'planned' as a commercial success, but one of the few things that the otherwise mediocre book by Stephen Pond (for the reason Jim gave) clarifies is the extent of marketing that went into the album under the auspices of producer David Rubinson, who also had Santana, the Pointer Sisters, Taj Mahal and Moby Grape under his wing, and Columbia promotional manager Vernon Slaughter. Certainly not the bog standard (=non-existent?) jazz album marketing. After EW&F this was the second time ever that Columbia targeted black R&B FM stations. But as you say, the musical shift from Mwandishi to the Head Hunters is more seamless than often suggested. The first Head Hunters gigs were merely a few weeks after Hancock disbanded the Mwandishi band, and with Bennie Maupin and his Dolphy and Marion Brown lineage plus Bill Summers' percussion, Hancock retained much of the Mwandishi free sound on top of the Oakland funk fundament. It's really worthwhile hunting down the early Head Hunters live bootlegs, which feature loads of extended and intense free improvisations, just like this video.
  8. Gil Evans

    Absolutely essential imo! The box includes some intriguing, previously unreleased material with the Miles quintet, most notably the Falling Water suite. The box set is outrageously cheap as well. Another essential Gil Evans record is much more oblique...the Claude Thornhill Orchestra's "The Real Birth Of The Cool", which features some of Gil's earliest and yet finest arranging.
  9. Whilst I'm slightly biased, I assure you that Bob's book is way better than Pond's book on the Head Hunters. In my opinion, he's done a fantastic job and struck a fine balance between describing the socio-musical background, analysing the music, and weaving in the musicians' recollections. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in the Mwandishi band.
  10. Having read through this thread yesterday I'm baffled about several comments made here, above all Allen's rather sweeping disdain for Hancock's music and his misguided understanding of authenticity. The imbecilic refusal to listen to "Speak Like A Child" because of its 'dumb' title in some way regrettably relativizes pretty much all of your output here. Frankly I'm puzzled, as these comments are so much at odds with my impression of you as an erudite and intelligent, even intellectual, writer and musician. Also, since you seem to take offence that Herbie allegedly disavows his Tristano influence - could you please point me to a source which supports your accusation? I have yet to find an interview or article in which Hancock denies having been influenced by Tristano. I'm also trying to get my head round Larry's comments about the 'little rhythmic and harmonic variety' in Hancock's playing. I agree that compared to most other albums with Hancock as leader or sideman from that period, "Speak Like A Child" is more polished and restrained, both in terms of sound and inventiveness. But generally I believe it is safe to say that there are VERY few jazz pianists out there who bring so much rhythmic and harmonic variety (and diversity and spontaneity!) to their playing as Herbie does/can do. The level of sophistication in rhythmic and harmonic superimposition, hypermetric irregularities, non-functional harmony, etc. - primarily developed during his stint with Miles - was pretty much unprecedented at the time, and remains highly influential for legions of new cats today. If you have trouble agreeing to this, I can wholeheartedly recommend Keith Waters' "The Studio Recordings of the Miles Davis Quintet" and his Hancock articles in the Annual Review for Jazz Studies (1996) and the Journal of Music Theory (2005) as well as James P. Wallmann's dissertation on 'Blue Note Herbie' for detailed insights. PS: A big thumbs up to Mark who has eloquently put into words exactly how I hear and feel about (the bulk of) Hancock's music. PPS: Allen, from the snippets I heard "Blues and the Excremental Truth" (sorry, I couldn't resist) must be about the unfunkiest album on earth, but it sounds like a great record all the sameā€¦I mean it!
  11. Another brilliant and extremely well written book (yet with a stronger academic leaning) is Brian Ward's "Just My Soul Responding: Rhythm and Blues, Black Consciousness and Race Relations Since 1945". Ward isn't only a scholar of African American History but a true connaisseur of R&B and black music, who writes with passion, wit and eloquence. This book and Guralnick's "Sweet Soul Music" are probably the best you'll find for this particular topic and era. I haven't read Preston Lauterbach's "Chitlin' Circuit" yet but heard very good things about it.
  12. is Ronnie Foster still alive

    Ronnie's not only alive, he even is on Facebook! I had the privilege of being 'friends' with him before FB locked my account for no reason and requested an ID scan to lift the ban - hilarious.
  13. Sounds great! The only shame is that it seems to only start in 1976, when she first came across the Keystone Korner. I guess Todd Barkan (who's currently recovering from a bad car accident earlier this year) will be chuffed about this book...
  14. Sorry to revive this old thread, but I only stumbled across it now and am curious about the Mwandishi 'lost album' remark - more info please!! The big Columbia box will probably never happen by the way, at least it's been put on hold indefinitely.
  15. Great to stumble across this thread! I thought I'd chime in... The situation with Miles and Herbie is completely different. To my knowledge, Sony Columbia has all master tapes of Miles as well as the publishing rights to posthumously release anything as they see fit. In the case of Herbie, however, pretty much all masters are in his own possession and Sony has not only to persuade Herbie to do a Head Hunters box or similar, they also need to shell out substantial dosh to make it happen. But of course there's loads of unreleased material sitting in Herbie's North Hollywood home, including the master tapes of all 8 tracks recorded for the Head Hunters album, the complete Spook Who Sat By The Door soundtrack (not the rip-off which is for sale now), and virtually everything else Herbie recorded between Crossings and Perfect Machine. There is a book available about the Head Hunters sessions, although it does not really talk about the recording process as such (see below). It rather speaks to musicologists than avid Herbie fans. Bob Gluck's Mwandishi book will be out next year and definitely is worth picking up a copy. The Complete Columbia box originally set out as a Head Hunters Legacy box which was later abandoned by Sony. That may happen sometime in the future, but I doubt there will ever be anything like a Complete Herbie Hancock & The Headhunters box, even only studio music. No interest in projects of yesteryear, and no monetary demand either. Besides, the master tapes are in Herbie's possession and, as far as I know, Warner's publishing rights have since elapsed. The book has been available for some years now and essentially is an edited version of the author's doctoral thesis. This explains the typological focus of this book (read: endless deliberations about finding the most adequate term for the music...jazz-funk, fusion, etc.) at the expense of a closer look at the actual recording process, as for example Ashley Khan has done in his books on Miles and Trane. In my opinion, the Mwandishi book to be published next year is a more interesting and intriguing read.