Head Hunters was a pivotal point in Herbie Hancock's career, bringing him into the vanguard of jazz fusion. Hancock had pushed avant-garde boundaries on his own albums and with Miles Davis, but he had never devoted himself to the groove as he did on Head Hunters. Drawing heavily from Sly Stone, Curtis Mayfield, and James Brown, Hancock developed deeply funky, even gritty, rhythms over which he soloed on electric synthesizers, bringing the instrument to the forefront in jazz…
Herbie Hancock recorded for Columbia between 1972 and 1988. During that period, between the label's American and Japanese divisions, he released 31 albums, both solo and with an astonishing variety of players in an equally breathtaking panorama of styles, from straight-ahead post-bop, to fusion, jazz-funk, disco, R&B, smooth jazz, and even hip-hop. Though Hancock had a celebrated career before signing to Columbia, it was his longest label association; and during his tenure there, he experienced his greatest commercial success and his name was etched permanently into the history of popular music. This box set contains 34 discs – 28 single and three double albums – all housed in handsome individual LP and gatefold sleeves.
Herbie Hancock's V.S.O.P. project with his former bandmates from the Miles Davis Quintet – Ron Carter, Wayne Shorter, Tony Williams – and trumpeter Freddie Hubbard was a band that almost single-handedly tried to re-establish acoustic jazz in the United States. And though they made three recordings, all of which were favorably reviewed and heralded by true jazz fans, none of them sold very well, and the band could find few gigs in the United States. The 1978 tour of major cities was thought to be a triumph at the time, but the unit could find few gigs afterward, and so its various members all went back to their other projects. In 1979, they got the opportunity to tour Japan and jumped at the chance. Sony, Hancock's Japanese label, recorded the two evenings, and the first, which took place during a furious rainstorm, was broadcast live on national television! Live Under the Sky marks the first time that this album has been available in the United States in any form.
Possibilities is a Herbie Hancock adventure record. This ten-cut smorgasbord features the ever restless pianist, composer, and arranger in the company of literally dozens of artists, from pop singers like Christina Aguilera, Sting, and Annie Lennox to rock legends such as Santana and Paul Simon to relative newcomers like John Mayer, Jonny Lang, and Joss Stone, as well as some renowned international performers, such as Angélique Kidjo and Raul Midón in a wide range of songs, styles, and moods. Hancock cut the record in studios all over the world, all the collaborations were done face to face, not long distance. Session musicians here include everyone from Stevie Wonder (who plays the harmonica solo on the cover of his tune "I Just Called to Say I Love You"), to Santana to Cyro Baptista, Willie Weeks, John Pattitucci, Steven Jordan, and Gina Gershon (the actress)! The standout cuts are the sensual read of Leon Russell's "A Song for You," sung by Aguilera, Simon's jazzed-up revisioning of his "I Do It for Your Love," and Lennox's read of "Hush, Hush, Hush," written by Paula Cole (whatever happened to her?).