Herbie Hancock & John McLaughlin: Turn Out The Stars


Turn Out The Stars


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).

Composed by Bill Evans


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


Rating: 92/100 (learn more)

In 1994 the Verve jazz label celebrated its 50th anniversary with a shindig at Carnegie Hall. The historic venue was crammed with wonderful jazz musicians that evening. The event was filmed and portions were later broadcast on PBS. The program was composed of various musical aggregations, each celebrating a historic jazz figure. Pianist Bill Evans was saluted by two of his greatest admirers, pianist Herbie Hancock and guitarist John McLaughlin.

"Turn Out The Stars" was one of Evans's most esoteric pieces. It was heard on the Bill Evans and Jim Hall record Intermodulation and even earlier at Evan's Town Hall concert. Evans and Hall formed a compelling bond over several recordings. so it makes all the sense in the world for the tune to be performed in duet by Hancock and McLaughlin – two musicians who formed their own bond in their formative years with Miles Davis. Hancock's style is slightly heavier-handed than Evans was. But this is just an indication of his power and not a detriment to his lovely presentation. McLaughlin's tone on this performance is warm and processed. In the group he was playing with at the time, The Free Spirits, this was bit of a problem because its sound would get lost beside Joey DeFrancesco's B-3 organ. Here, however, placed against a piano, the tone is quite pleasing. Each master musician plays lush chords as the other presents seamless and meaningful improvisations. The duo's interplay is telepathic. Evocative single-note runs eventually join to bring this moving tribute to Evans's legacy to an end.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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