Introduction / Maiden Voyage (Live)
Actual Proof (Live)
Watermelon Man (Live)
Hang Up Your Hang Ups (Live)
This recording of a 1975 Tokyo concert, issued only in Japan, has long lived in a shadowy section of the Herbie Hancock discography—but in the digital age it has emerged as a somewhat revelatory item. Backed by his Head Hunters band, Hancock was solidly in the center of his fusion period here, although the vaunted synthesizer arsenal he famously employed in this era plays only a minor role. In fact, the first two tracks on Flood are workouts led by acoustic piano: Hancock's post-bop classic "Maiden Voyage" and an unplugged take on his then-recent electric offering "Actual Proof." The bulk of his business here gets done on electric piano, whether he's comping along with the insanely funky rhythm section of drummer Mike Clark and bassist Paul Jackson on "Spank-a-Lee" or darting around Bennie Maupin's saucy, sweaty sax lines on "Watermelon Man." When Hancock does get around to busting out a synth on "Chameleon," he kicks up a cosmic firestorm of epic proportions, but Flood shows that the keyboard king's funk-fortified phase still had solid roots in his past.