Herbie Hancock & John McLaughlin: It's About That Time


It's About That Time


Herbie Hancock (piano) and John McLaughlin (guitar)


Carnegie Hall Salutes the Jazz Masters: Verve at 50 (Verve 314 523 150-2)

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Herbie Hancock (piano), John McLaughlin (guitar),

Gary Thomas (sax), Jeff Lorber, Renee Rosnes (keyboards), Tom Barney (bass), Omar Hakim (drums), Don Alias (percussion)


Composed by Miles Davis


Recorded: live at Carnegie Hall, New York, April 6, 1994


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

The 50th Anniversary concert of Verve Records was celebrated at Carnegie Hall in 1994. It contained many high moments. One of these was a revisiting of Miles Davis's "It's About That Time" from the legendary In A Silent Way album. This performance of the tune is noteworthy because Herbie Hancock and John McLaughlin, who appeared on the original sessions, reprise their roles. Earlier in the evening, at least judging from the DVD order of the concert, the two had played a gentle Bill Evans piece in duet. In a true indication of their broad capabilities the two then turned on a dime to lead a stellar group of well-versed modern players in this fusion rendition. The song is really one movement of a larger piece from In a Silent Way. For this event, the movement was plucked out as a standalone piece. Hancock is now on synthesizer. He and McLaughlin take sharp jabs punctuating the infectious jazz-funk rhythm. Saxophonist Gary Thomas takes a star turn over the ingratiating groove. Herbie, John and the entire band are smiling and laughing as they dig deeper into the gritty underpinning of the composition. (You'll have to see those smiles on the DVD.) Finally, after several minutes of fascinating but purposely directionless motion, the rave-up closing theme is introduced. The band plays it in full unison building tension with each pass until it's about that time to end the thing with a sudden thump.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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