HiRez Poll Hancock, Herbie - GERSHWIN'S WORLD [SACD]

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Rate the SACD of Herbie Hancock - GERSHWIN'S WORLD


  • Total voters
    30

Clement

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I own all of Herbie Hancock's solo work that's available in surround. Each release is special, but there is something about this one that sets it apart, that makes it my go-to Hancock. It may be the stellar line-up of guests and the way, despite Hancock's generosity throughout, this remains very much his show.

The album opens with the percussive delight of "Overture," the fascinating rhythm percolating around the room, letting me know i'm in for quite a sonic treat. "It Ain't Necessarily So" is up next, surrounded by piano, bass anchoring the tune up front, percussion popping behind, and nice contributions from Eddie Henderson on trumpet, James Carter on tenor, and Kenny Garrett on alto. The woman whose voice i love, Joni Mitchell, is up next on "The Man I Love." Mitchell's contributions to this disc are, for me, worth the price of admission. She has matured into a most excellent jazz singer, an astute interpreter of tunes, conscious of the smoky limitations of her instrument. Great accompaniment from Wayne Shorter makes this one a favorite. "Here Come De Honey Man" is a discrete sonic sticky sweet delight, percussion all around and some tasty work by Henderson on trumpet and Carter this time on soprano sax. Stevie Wonder is featured next on a funky read of "St. Louis Blues," with his unmistakable harmonica and vocalizing breathing new life into the Handy classic. Next up is the album's longest track: an 11 minute take on Gershwin's "Lullaby," with Hancock front and center, surrounded by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra; i get the feeling of being in a concert hall, immersed in the interplay between piano and orchestra–featuring some of Hancock's best improvisation on this release. Chick Corea joins Hancock for a duet on James P. Johnson's "Blueberry Rhyme," and they have a wonderful time. A brief interlude, a reprise of "It Ain't Necessarily So," is up next, with more discrete goodness: percussion, piano, bass, muted trumpet, alto coming at me from all corners! Next is a smoking take on Duke Ellington's "Cotton Tail," with an absolutely killer solo from Wayne Shorter running wild behind me! Ah, back to Joni Mitchell, whose breathy and sensitive vibrato makes "Summertime" her own whilst sharing the space with Shorter on soprano, Wonder on harmonica, and–of course–Hancock. Bakithi Kumalo's bass anchors the two-minute take on "My Man's Gone Now," setting up an amazing cut of Gershwin's "Prelude in C# Minor," featuring the soaring and spectacular vocal stylings of soprano Kathleen Battle commanding center stage, percussion again percolating and tinkling behind and another masterful accompaniment from Hancock–simply beautiful. The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra is back for the album's second longest cut: a lush and poignant 9:10 take on Ravel's "Concerto For Piano and Orchestra in G, 2nd Movement." The liner notes begin with a quotation from Duke Ellington that really resonates with me as i sit, surrounded by the beauty of Ravel's piece: "It is becoming increasingly difficult to decide where jazz starts or where it stops, where Tin Pan Alley begins and jazz ends, or even where the borderline lies between classical music and jazz. I feel there is no boundary line." And it all comes to closure with a very Herbie Hancock take on "Embraceable You," all Hancock, alone and transcendent.

The liner notes end with a quotation from George Gershwin: "Jazz is the result of the energy stored up in America." For me, Jazz is America's greatest contribution to the world, and Hancock's inspired release rates a 10 in my book.
 
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humprof

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Joined
Jun 10, 2016
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I own all of Herbie Hancock's solo work that's available in surround. Each release is special, but there is something about this one that sets it apart, that makes it my go-to Hancock. It may be the stellar line-up of guests and the way, despite Hancock's generosity throughout, this remains very much his show.

The album opens with the percussive delight of "Overture," the fascinating rhythm percolating around the room, letting me know i'm in for quite a sonic treat. "It Ain't Necessarily So" is up next, surrounded by piano, bass anchoring the tune up front, percussion popping behind, and nice contributions from Eddie Henderson on trumpet, James Carter on tenor, and Kenny Garrett on alto. The woman whose voice i love, Joni Mitchell, is up next on "The Man I Love." Mitchell's contributions to this disc are, for me, worth the price of admission. She has matured into a most excellent jazz singer, an astute interpreter of tunes, conscious of the smoky limitations of her instrument. Great accompaniment from Wayne Shorter makes this one a favorite. "Here Come De Honey Man" is a discrete sonic sticky sweet delight, percussion all around and some tasty work by Henderson on trumpet and Carter this time on soprano sax. Stevie Wonder is featured next on a funky read of "St. Louis Blues," with his unmistakable harmonica and vocalizing breathing new life into the Handy classic. Next up is the album's longest track: an 11 minute take on Gershwin's "Lullaby," with Hancock front and center, surrounded by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra; i get the feeling of being in a concert hall, immersed in the interplay between piano and orchestra–featuring some of Hancock's best improvisation on this release. Chick Corea joins Hancock for a duet on James P. Johnson's "Blueberry Rhyme," and they have a wonderful time. A brief interlude, a reprise of "It Ain't Necessarily So," is up next, with more discrete goodness: percussion, piano, bass, muted trumpet, alto coming at me from all corners! Next is a smoking take on Duke Ellington's "Cotton Tail," with an absolutely killer solo from Wayne Shorter running wild behind me! Ah, back to Joni Mitchell, whose breathy and sensitive vibrato makes "Summertime" her own whilst sharing the space with Shorter on soprano, Wonder on harmonica, and–of course–Hancock. Bakithi Kumalo's bass anchors the two-minute take on "My Man's Gone Now," setting up an amazing take on Gershwin's "Prelude in C# Minor," featuring the soaring and spectacular vocal stylings of soprano Kathleen Battle commanding center stage, percussion again percolating and tinkling behind and another masterful accompaniment from Hancock–simply beautiful. The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra is back for the album's second longest cut: a lush and poignant 9:10 take on Ravel's "Concerto For Piano and Orchestra in G, 2nd Movement." The liner notes begin with a quotation from Duke Ellington that really resonates with me as sit, surrounded by the beauty of Ravel's piece: "It is becoming increasingly difficult to decide where jazz starts or where it stops, where Tin Pan Alley begins and jazz ends, or even where the borderline lies between classical music and jazz. I feel there is no boundary line." And it all comes to closure with a very Herbie Hancock take on "Embraceable You," all Hancock, alone and transcendent.

The liner notes end with a quotation from George Gershwin: "Jazz is the result of the energy stored up in America." For me, Jazz is America's greatest contribution to the world, and Hancock's inspired release rates a 10 in my book.
@Clement, to say I appreciate the love, care, and detailed attention you put into your reviews is an understatement.

Wouldn't it be great if Schmitt--or any capable mixer, really--had been commissioned to do a 5.1 mix of The Joni Letters?
 
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