Herbie Hancock: Man-Child (Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab UDCD 706).
This recording was originally made in 1975, same year as the Warne Marsh/Lee Konitz set discussed below, but it inhabits a much different musical universe. A quick digression about Herbie Hancock: One of the most memorable musical experiences in my life happened one morning in a rental car (a Camry or a Taurus -- can't quite remember -- it was the music that was memorable, not the "reference system" I heard it on) in a hotel parking lot (Courtyard by Marriott) in Livingston, New Jersey. As I started the car, the radio came on and there out of nowhere came the original version of "Maiden Voyage." I was utterly transfixed. Pure musical joy! To undigress: The same Herbie Hancock who could make such transcendental recordings as "Maiden Voyage" also has urges to be thought of as a cool, hip guy, so he also made recordings such as Man-Child. But as much as you want to laugh at this stuff, it is actually kind of fun, and Herbie has such good taste that even when he is goofing off, he produces quality music. No, there are no cuts on this CD that match the inspiration of "Maiden Voyage," but there are no clunkers, either. Hey, it was the '70s, and everybody had to make a recording that had kind of a Stevie Wonderish smoothly funky feel to it. Man-Child was Herbie Hancock's contribution to the genre, and in MoFi's ultra-dean version, it is fun to hear the wah-wah guitars and Herbie playing around on the electronic keyboards. Good stuff -- not great stuff, but pretty darned good if you don't take it too seriously. Just groove, man ... -- KWN
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|Author:||Nehring, Karl W.|
|Article Type:||Sound Recording Review|
|Date:||Nov 1, 1997|
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