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Dustin LindenSmith

father | musician | writer

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Herbie Hancock, God of Funk incarnate

Today's track is the opening number on a 1974 Herbie Hancock record called Thrust. It features Herbie on 7 different synthesizers, Bennie Maupin on tenor sax (and other horns), Paul Jackson on the bass, and a white guy named Mike Clark on the drums. This is cerebral jazz funk rock near its finest apex (which occurred in the late 70s, prior to the onset of that musical wet blanket called disco which, despite its certain appeal, precipitated the ultimate demise of most high-quality pop music as we then knew it). Plus, look at this gorgeous album cover with Herbie controlling a spaceship with his synthesizer keyboards!

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This record is full of complex drum beats, multi-layered synth textures, staccato basslines finger-picked at a blistering pace, and beautiful orchestrations using the synths, saxes, flute, and bass clarinet. And, it must be said, it fucking ROCKS THE HOUSE in funkiness. I worship at the musical altar of Herbie Hancock, he who has created among the most intense, heavy-handed, sophisticated funk grooves in the history of this beautiful music (and all this came AFTER he literally blew the doors off jazz piano with the Miles Davis Quintet in the mid-60s).

Palm Grease is a lengthy track at 10:37, but stick with it until the end. At the 9:33 mark Herbie comes in with some beautiful orchestral synth patches that must have totally blown peoples' minds in 1974. They sound quite ordinary to us in 2005, but I'd be pretty surprised if anyone was using those kinds of sounds anywhere in jazz, pop or rock music at that time.

Herbie Hancock - Palm Grease (10 MB mp3 file @ 96kps)

(x-posted to my turntablist cousin Marc's new audio blog Diggin' Through The Crates)

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lordsluk August 9th, 2005
i'll have to add that to my fusion collection!

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iamom August 26th, 2005
Yeah baby, I sucked you in to the Herbie vibe. Isn't it totally infectious?

Glad you dug it. Thanks for telling me that you did.

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