HERBIE HANCOCK — Maiden Voyage (review)

HERBIE HANCOCK — Maiden Voyage album cover Album · 1965 · Post Bop Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Amilisom
First of all, I'd like to say that I got this album last Christmas and it remained in my car's CD player for six months. There's definitely a sense of magic to it.

This album is a very healthy combination of cool jazz, modal jazz, post-bop, and even has a slight tinge of avant-garde on the "Survival of the Fittest" track. Although this album was recorded around the time Herbie Hancock was playing with Miles Davis, Hancock's improvisation is slightly less aggressive. In this album, a good deal of his solos ("The Eye of the Hurricane" being an exception) have lyrical qualities to them rather than long, fast phrases. In "Survival of the Fittest" he actually almost abandons the jazz solo sound and starts pounding out phrases that sound like something from a 20th century classical piano piece.

The track "Maiden Voyage" is possibly the most memorable of the whole album. Every time I listen to it I am amazed at how well the musicians are able to keep time. To enhance the spacey feel of the track, Tony Williams frequently changes his drum rhythms from triplets to straight eighths to quarter note triplets in unexpected ways. It really confuses me while listening and I have trouble finding beat one. During Freddie Hubbard and Hancock's solos there are moments even more out-of-time where the soloist plays a fast, light impressionistic pattern and the rhythm section leaves the tempo all together to join in the dreamy feel.

Definitely one of the best jazz albums of all time.
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