Herbie Hancock: Tell Me a Bedtime Story


Tell Me a Bedtime Story


Herbie Hancock and Mwandishi


Mwandishi: The Compete Warner Bros. Recordings

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Herbie Hancock (piano, electric piano), Johnny Coles (trumpet), Garnett Brown (trombone), Joe Henderson (alto flute, tenor sax), Buster Williams (bass), Billy Hart (drums, percussion), Albert "Tootie" Heath (drums).

Composed by Herbie Hancock


Recorded: Englewood Cliffs, NJ, October 3 - December 8, 1969


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

The smart horn writing on "Tell Me a Bedtime Story" looks back to the textures of "Speak Like a Child," but by now Herbie Hancock has gone electric, and the resulting mixture is one of the great medium-slow fusion performances of the era. This recording captures a "quiet storm" ambiance, and each of the band members sublimates his individual ego in order to sustain the late-night mood. Hancock's solo is more about textures than licks, and he projects his personality effectively through his electric piano. Soon Hancock would be moving away from these rich harmonies, embracing a style (epitomized in his hit "Chameleon") driven by basslines rather than chords. But "Tell Me a Bedtime Story" points toward a jazzier, more cerebral fusion -- one of the many paths tested briefly by Hancock, then abandoned in his quest for the next new thing.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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  • 1 Alan // Jan 20, 2009 at 04:51 AM
    A classic. I absolutely love this song.