Herbie Hancock – Speak Like A Child


Somewhere in between his high profile stint with Miles Davis and the formation of his experimental Sextet, Herbie Hancock found time to record this beautiful documentation of what an incredible piano player he had become. It tends to be relaxed and 60s cool, but at the same time intelligently abstract. This was recorded in 1968 for Blue Note, before Herbie decided to dive headlong into electronic keyboards and his piano playing is exquisite. As usual, his soft touch is used to full expression on these dreamy pastel like tunes. Perfect.

“This album is an extension of Maiden Voyage in terms of use of simple, singable melodies. I’ve been trying for a long time to work on swinging, and of all the albums I’ve done, this to me swings the most. […] What’s different in Speak Like a Child as a whole has to do, first, with harmony. For the most part, the harmonies in these numbers are freer in the sense that they’re not so easily identifiable chordally in the conventional way. I’m more concerned with sounds than chords, and so I voice the harmonies to provide a wider spectrum of colors that can be contained within the traditional chord progression. […] Similarly, in those tracks with the horns, I was more interested in sounds than in definite chord patterns. I tried to give the horns notes that would give color and body to the sounds I heard as I wrote.”




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