Artist: Herbie Hancock
Genre: Jazz-Funk, Fusion
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps
01. Palm Grease
02. Actual Proof
The 21st Century has arrived and this album has reached the new generation. One can draw lines to the ’70s, when jazz, rock, funk, soul and African rhythms started to mix in the United States. We noticed this process during the ’90s. With this notice we started to understand where the roots of groove are situated. Hopefully after some years we can see that the same process is taking place in the beginning of this century.
Modern life and jazz groove are strongly connected. On this album the word “jazz” is emphasized.
The first track, “Palm Grease,” takes us to the noise of every city fitting in with the lifestyle of both—the coevals of the musicians playing on this 1974 CD and modern teenagers. Mike Clark and Paul Jackson create a steady beat, which is also polymetric. This beat is supported by Herbie Hancock, who varies it and improvises on it. Bill Summers takes the role of a ticket checker by creating some thinking pauses but at the same time not losing the main beat. With the help of Bennie Maupin’s alto flute, we start to understand the melody of this track. Switching to tenor saxophone, he repeats the main subjects, reminding us the most important idea and at the same time being an inseparable part from the groove. And that way—grooving together—the musicians enjoy life and let each other live and breathe.
The second track, “Actual Proof,” is a bit more complicated and modern. The extensive melody is based on a complicated, subtle, and syncopated foundation. Fireworks presented by Herbie Hancock, Paul Jackson and Mike Clark follow this. Hancock plays very good modern jazz on a good groove. The period of this tune is complicated and after every chorus the instruments help each other by summarizing the information. At the end of the track Bennie Maupin steps in with some solo fills and after that presenting the final melody. During the outro Herbie Hancock demonstrates on a synthesizer what happened to wah guitar during the following thirty years’
Hancock’s and Maupins’s “Butterfly” floats peacefully with the help of bass clarinet and soprano saxophone. Herbie Hancock adds a gentle extra to Bennie Maupin’s solo. He uses the wide sound of the synthesizer to present the flight of a butterfly. After that the peace is interrupted by active moods, which are added to the static groove. The structure of this track is still jazz-like—at the end of the tune the melody is presented. A very good and calm track.
“Spank-A-Lee” is related to “Palm Grease.” The phrase that describes this track would be “groove, groove, and more groove.”
In “Palm Grease” and “Spank-A-Lee” we can hear many elements, which have moved on to modern danceable jazz. Paul Jackson’s Jaco Pastorius-like bass playing and cooperation with Mike Clark and Herbie Hancock create an inspiring solo base for Bennie Maupin’s tenor saxophone.
The rhythm, improvisation and feeling inspire many young musicians nowadays and hopefully will do the same in the future.
By ESTER EGGERT