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Saturday, June 04, 2005

Concert Review: Herbie Hancock, Michael Brecker and Roy Hargrove

Please excuse the belated nature of this review but I just found my notes from the concert here in Washington DC on February 18, 2005!

I had been looking forward to seeing Herbie Hancock for a long time (I missed him with the Headhunters at the HFS Festival a few years back as I was busy watching world cup games)... Of course, since 1998 I've listened to a lot more jazz and really fell in love with Herbie Hancock's blue note recordings, his playing on Grant Green's "feelin the spirit", his role in the great Miles Davis Quintet etc... lets just put it this way: I doubt I would miss the Headhunters today...

In any case Herbie came to the Warner Theatre which is a pretty stellar place to catch a show... On the ticket stub the performers were billed as Hancock, Brecker, Hargrove...while the program billed it as "Directions in Music: Our Times".. the main trio were complemented by Scott Colley on bass and Terri Lynne Carrington... Unfortunately from our loge suite seats we had an obstructed view of the drummer.. insane... I will try and reproduce my notes from the concert although they are hard to read of course..the show was wonderful.. very challenging stuff.. you could tell herbie was challenging himself.. the bassist was a monster..:

1st song
computer effects... herbie began with some modeal jazz a la maiden voyage...trumpet (Hargrove) - agressive improv NOT your muted Miles Davis
trio jam- herbie went crazy with drummer and bass
drummer can't see
(obstructed view as far as drummer)
Brecker by mistake came out before drum solo? Hargrove came out and moved to side.
2nd song
Herbie Hancock reading sheet music. Brecker for my taste has a bit too smooth jazz a sound..for this..Brecker unhappy with his solo..after it shook his head and seemed to say "damn"..
3rd song
67-68 Blue Note..Wayne Shorter? Sam Rivers? A little Tina Brooks? not too smooth on this one (Brecker)! Herbie Hancock playing avant garde.. Andrew Hill... Wonderful trio interplay
4th song
Hargrove with Flugelhorn gives him a bit more of a Miles Davis sound..ballad very maiden voyage-ish

gum chewing annoying

Walter Brecker did intros of songs and plays an electronic wind instrument resembling something from the Star Wars cantina seen

Herbie Hancock composition dolphin dance/deconstructed (I'll say!)
Roy Hargrove composition Brown
Brecker composition loose threads
Roy Hargrove composition Poet (Massey Hall 2001)

Brecker says electronic wind instrument "allows me to layer sounds in a way that is unimaginable"

song 5. Brecker solo with crazy instrument! Yodeling to digeridoo..african sounds to ?.. he's loving it! he's a one man band!

song 6. Band comes in- very modern and experimental and still grounded in jazz.. headhunters?
mike computerizes Hargrove's trumpet gives way to trio.. very modal

song 7
begins with drum solo.. she is unbelievable! too bad i can't see her! brecker attacks sax with drum/bass me repetitive..10 minute solo? back to herbie who plays same bass

song 8.
begins with brecker solo..hargrove very miles very miles davis quintet..brecker trying to follow what herbie is playing by looking at his sheet music..brecker all smiles at end looking at drum breaks.. is it his composition being improvised on??

song 9. last song got biggest reaction... headhunters definetly.. you know the one..bass plays theeme.. herbie solos over it..

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