Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Library of Congress Records Herbie Hancock's Move to Cheesiness for Posterity; Response to Reader's Comment

So, out of all of Herbie Hancock's albums that could possibly be chosen ("Maiden Voyage," anyone?) to be recorded for posterity, the Library of Congress have decided to save "Headhunters." I mean, don't get me wrong, I get it. It was (and I believe still is) his best-selling record and probably has his two most famous performances on it ("Chameleon" and "Watermelon Man").

In addition, its required listening for anyone interested in jazz (it may well be the most popular early fusion recording by anyone who played with Miles), and every young player gets stuck playing "Chameleon" at awful jam sessions over and over and over... But just because its required listening doesn't make it any good. Or worthy of saving over, say, "Empyrian Isles." Or "Mwandashi." Hell, "Fat Albert Rotunda" is better than "Headhunters..."

On another note, since someone commented (seriously, check it out) on my post about the AJJ's annual awards, I figured I should respond. I have heard Steve Lehman's "On Meaning" (I haven't heard the other one yet), and it is definitely pretty killin'. As for Vijay and Rudresh, the former released "Still Life With Commentator," a collaboration with Mike Ladd, although I suppose the AJJ would probably ignore it due to its being more electronic music than jazz (even though it does have some great piano work).

Tomorrow morning or afternoon I'll have reviews of Matana Roberts' "The Chicago Project" and Taylor Eigsti's "Let It Come to You," the first of which is actually produced by Vijay Iyer. Also, always feel free to comment whether you agree with me, disagree with me, feel like professing your undying love for my critical ear, or just want to let the world know that people actually read my blog.

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