This years Grammy Awards for “Album Of The Year” goes to River: The Joni Letters by Herbie Hancock.
Herbie Hancock is an amazing contemporary jazz pianist and composer. In his early carrier he played for several years with the second Miles Davis quintet and helped in redefining the role of rhythm in Jazz with his continues search for new sounds and experimentations.
In the Grammy winning album River, he revisits some of Joni Mitchell’s most famous songs but in a very “Herbie way”. When I first listened to this album I knew it was going to go places. I’ve never recommended a Jazz album like Idid for this one.
Herbie has always been able to come out with surprising albums. He is able to move from Gershwin’s World to Possibilities where he played with artists like John Mayer, Angelique Kclassjo , Santana and more.
In this album he practically puts music back into the music. The last time a jazz album won the coveted “Album of the Year” was 48 years ago. (In 1964 the duo Stan Getz and João Gilberto of the Bossa Nova won it)
Even though sales are not high (just about 55,000 copies compared to Kanye West’s Graduation, 2 million), this cool tempered album, with singers and songwriters like Tina Turner, Corinne Bailey Rae, Norah Jones, Leonard Cohen and Luciana Souza, including Joni Mitchell has left a mark on fans of Jazz including myself.
“When a jazz record with really assertive, swinging rhythm wins album of the year, then jazz enthusiasts can feel smug”. – New York Times
A very personal tribute to Herbie Hancock.