Herbie Hancock: So What / Impressions


So What / Impressions


Herbie Hancock (piano), Roy Hargrove (trumpet), and Michael Brecker (tenor sax)


Directions in Music: Live at Massey Hall (Verve 589654)

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Herbie Hancock (piano), Roy Hargrove (trumpet), Michael Brecker (tenor sax), John Patitucci (bass), Brian Blade (drums).

Recorded: Toronto, Ontario, Canada, October 25, 2001


Rating: 93/100 (learn more)

Listeners expecting stylistic imitation (as in many past tributes) will be disappointed, but those who welcome a fresh interpretation of the Davis and Coltrane concepts will love this record. “So What / Impressions” is more introspective and melancholic than 1960s performances by the respective composers, allowing each improviser to reference the styles of their masters, but not be bound by them. Hargrove’s solo is astounding—contemplative and brilliantly paced, eventually reaching a rousing climax. Hancock’s comping is busy and detached at times, but more often faultlessly complementary. Blade adds powerful rhythmic dialogue throughout, especially at the end of Brecker’s inspired chorus. Spectacular playing all around.

Reviewer: Matt Leskovic

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