Herbie Hancock

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About Herbie Hancock

If Herbie Hancock had faded from view after his momentous mid-’60s stint with the Miles Davis Quintet and his pioneering Blue Note releases in the same period, his reputation as one of the most consequential pianists in jazz history would still have been assured. But Hancock repeatedly changed course, from the abstract electric jazz of his Mwandishi sextet to the tightly coiled jazz-funk fusion of Head Hunters to his prescient electronic experimentation with producer Bill Laswell in the ’80s. The Chicago-born Hancock achieved commercial success on his own terms, following a genuine creative path while ignoring barriers between jazz and pop (the title shared by his 2005 album and his 2014 memoir, Possibilities, said much about his worldview). He remains a “Chameleon,” true to his signature track from 1973, covering songs by his friend and collaborator Joni Mitchell and working alongside Kendrick Lamar, Thundercat, and Flying Lotus in the studio.

Chicago, IL, United States
April 12, 1940
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