Yes, I’m aware having Herbie Hancock as my Chicago Jazz artist of the month is a bit mainstream. He’s not a local musician who has a steady gig at the Green Mill. Still, he is a Chicago native and one of our most well known artists. He was born here, starting giging here, and has gone on to become one of the Giants of jazz. While I assume anyone reading this blog is aware of who Herbie Hancock is, if you are not, then your very next task is to go buy yourself one of his albums.
He was as a piano prodigy with his first notable performance happening at age 8, the first movement of Mozart’s Piano Sonata no. 26 in D Major K. 537 at a young people’s concert with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Later on he attended Grinnell College, but left in order to pursue a career in music. During this period he played with Donald Byrd and Coleman Hawkins. After a couple of years he released his first album for Blue Note Record titled TAKIN’ OFF.
Herbie Hancock has too many notable albums to mention. A few highlights include, but are not limited to MAIDEN VOYAGE, EMPYREAN ISLES, and SPEAK LIKE A CHILD. His ensemble work is also iconic he was a member of Miles Davis’ second great quintet, worked on an album with the Head Hunters, and a duet with Herbie Hancock. All in all Herbie Hancock is one of the most influential Jazz musicians to ever live. His influence on me, personally, is immeasurable. I owe so much to Herbie Hancock, and I’m grateful for all he’s done.