Herbie Hancock: Norwegian Wood
Herbie Hancock (piano)
The New Standard (Verve 314-529584-2)
Lili R. Haydn, Margaret R. Wootn, Richard S. Greene (violins), Cameron L. Stone (cello), Lester Lovitt, Oscar Brashear (trumpet, flugelhorn) Maurice Spears (bass trombone), Suzette Moriarty (french horn) Sam Riney, William E. Green (flute, alto flute), Gene Cipriano (oboe, English horn) Gary Herbig (bass clarinet).
Composed by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
Recorded: New York & West Hollywood, CA, 1996
Rating: 100/100 (learn more)
On this absolutely, stunning and beautiful rendition of the Beatles classic "Norwegian Wood," Herbie Hancock enlisted the help of some of jazz music's best musicians. With Scofield, Holland, DeJohnette and the late Michael Brecker on board, there was no question that this album was going to be near perfect. Arranged by Bob Belden, this song opens up with Dave Holland playing the main verse melody before Brecker and Scofield come in with a doubled melody. The melody builds as it's accompanied by a miniature string and wind orchestra that helps take this song to places that the Beatles only wish they could have gone. Holland also plays the first solo, while Hancock plays some "Maiden Voyage" inspired chords underneath that accentuate the depth and validity of Holland's solo further.
There's a such a deep understanding of music going on in this re-arrangement. The back ground orchestrations behind the solos are absolutely genius and help the song become the masterpiece that it is. Scofield finishes off the solo section with an angular passage that sounds like only Scofield can sound. That tone is recognizable from any stereo on the face of planet earth! A perfect song deserves a perfect rating and this one gets it folks.
Reviewer: Jared Pauley