Herbie Hancock: Succotash




Herbie Hancock (piano)


Inventions And Dimensions (Blue Note 63798)

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Herbie Hancock (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), Willie Bobo (drums), Osvaldo Chihuahua Martinez (percussion).

Composed by Herbie Hancock


Recorded: Englewood Cliffs, NJ, August 30, 1963


Rating: 100/100 (learn more)

One doesn’t normally think of Herbie in this context, but on Inventions and Dimensions, playing with a group you wouldn’t necessarily expect, he plays with Latin grooves as well as swing. It’s his new take on Latin music. From time to time, he nods towards the Latin piano tradition with montuno-like figures,etc., but then he brings in his own thing. It’s great to hear a musician try to explore different aspects of music that aren’t associated with what’s stereotypically supposed to be their thing, and yet, you can hear the authority and the creativity with which Herbie brings his own thing to that groove, as he did on Joe Henderson’s Double Rainbow record of Jobim songs, on which his soloing is also so joyous and swinging. At the time, many musicians were addressing polyrhythms and compound rhythms—in other words, the idea that you can go between different rhythmic feels and apply rhythmic feels that run counter to each other. A lot of Afro-Latin music, for example, contains a contrasting two-feel and three-feel, superimposes two or three rhythmic grooves on top of each other. This happens a lot on Inventions and Dimensions, and Herbie’s interest in this type of music has influenced many musicians.

Reviewer: Uri Caine

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