HERBIE HANCOCK — Speak Like a Child

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HERBIE HANCOCK - Speak Like a Child cover
4.62 | 16 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 1968

Filed under Post Bop
By HERBIE HANCOCK

Tracklist

A1 Riot 5:40
A2 Speak Like A Child 7:40
A3 First Trip 5:55
B1 Toys 5:49
B2 Goodbye To Childhood 7:05
B3 The Sorcerer 5:32

CD reissue bonuses:
7. Riot (1st alternate take) (4:55)
8. Riot (2nd alternate take) (4:40)
9. Goodbye to Childhood (alternate take) (5:50)

Total Time: 52:41

Line-up/Musicians

- Ron Carter/Bass
- Mickey Roker/Drums
- Jerry Dodgion /Flute [Alto]
- Thad Jones /Flügelhorn
- Herbie Hancock /Piano
- Peter Phillips /Trombone [Bass]

About this release

Blue Note – BST 84279(US)

Recorded on March 6th (#1-3, 7 & 8) & March 9th (#4-6 & 9), 1968 at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

Thanks to snobb, silent way, dreadpirateroberts for the updates

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Speak Like A ChildSpeak Like A Child
Extra tracks · Remastered
Blue Note 2005
$8.82
$5.48 (used)
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Imports
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$36.56 (used)
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EMI Gold
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HERBIE HANCOCK SPEAK LIKE A CHILD reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

dreadpirateroberts
This is probably third on my list of favourite Hancock albums and it's one of his finest.

Beautiful without slipping into overly sentimental territory, the album is a mix of cool and post bop and reveals another facet to Hancock's range of compositional prowess - give him a genre at random and no doubt he could work within it, then push it's boundaries while he was at it - as he incorporates trombone, flugelhorn and flute to the sound of his piano and a small rhythm section of bass and drums.

It's possible to break this one into two clear moods - songs like 'Riot' and 'First Trip' exemplify the harder side of the material and 'Speak Like a Child' and 'Goodbye to Childhood' represent the cooler, more reflective moments. 'First Trip' is notable for being a trio piece composed by Carter, whereas the other uptempo songs include the full band, with 'Riot' or 'Toys' revealing what sounds like a mini orchestra playing the bookends to Hancock's solos. And it's a surprising pleasure when those horns and flute are used on 'Speak Like a Child', also allowing Hancock a different palette to solo over, which he does with his usual grace. He's just as subtly effective on 'Goodbye to Childhood' which employs a similar structure, though it's more focused on the piano and has more space between phrases.

Put simply, any fan of Herbie Hancock's Blue Note era should invest in this album.

Note that the Rudy Van Gelder Remaster includes three bonus tracks, two alternates of 'Riot' and a stripped back version of 'Goodbye to Childhood' where Hancock solos for the majority of the song unaccompanied. Five stars.
js
Somewhere in between his high profile stint with Miles Davis and the formation of his experimental Sextet, Herbie Hancock found time to record this beautiful documentation of what an incredible piano player he had become. I love the music on here, it tends to be relaxed and 60s cool, but at the same time very abstract and intellectual, it is the ultimate in pre-hippie hipster music, lounge music for the swinger who has Sarte on his coffee table instead of Playboy. This was recorded before Herbie decided to dive headlong into electronic keyboards and his piano playing is exquisite. As usual, his harmonies fall somewhere between Debussy and Bill Evans, and his soft touch is used to full expression on these dreamy pastel like tunes. Although most of the tunes on here fit the previously described laid back mood, a couple of tunes break the mold. Album opener Riot is a bit agitated and features a fairly strong piano solo, but not as strong as the song title might suggest. The Ron Carter penned First Trip is a throwback to Hancock's early 60s bluesy hard bop roots, but most everything else on here maintains a more impressionistic tone.

Although there are three horn players on here, none of them ever solo, instead they orchestrate the melody and occasionally add color to Herbie's tonal explorations. The arrangements used with this small ensemble are incredible, somehow Hancock uses clever voicings to make them sound like a small orchestra. Scoring for this threesome will pay off for Hancock when he hires a similar horn section for his Sextet and combines his sense of orchestration with electronics for an even larger tonal palette.

If you like really good piano playing, and who doesn't, Herbie is at the peak of his game here. His inventive chord substitutions, lush harmonies, precise rhythms and ability to focus and build long solos put him at the very top in the world of jazz and fusion. This album is one of a kind, abstract futuristic lounge music for hipsters in any era, even eras still to come.

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