Charles Colin Herbie Hancock Lines, Voicings, and Rhythms from Transcriptions
This theoretical book is meant to improve contemporary jazz styles and techniques for all players of modern jazz.
This study investigates jazz pianist and composer Herbie Hancock's seven albums recorded as a bandleader for Blue Note Records between 1962 and 1969. Recorded during Hancock's tenures with Donal Byrd and Miles Davis, his early works are highly mature musical conceptions, with all the major elements of Hancock's personal musical style already present. A mixed-methods approach combining sever forms of qualitative data analysis is used to identify the formal construction, the musical meanings, and the cultural significance of this body of music. The study surveys the thirty-six compositions that comprise these seven albums, and selects for in-depth analysis seven pieces that are proportionally representative of the formal characteristics of this larger repertoire: "The Maze," "The Pleasure Is Mine," "Jack Rabbit," "One Finger Snap," "Little One," "Toys," and "I Have A Dream." Hancock's improvisations on these repretative compositions are transcribed, and each improvisation and composition is analyzed for its historical context and significance of each recording is examined through interviews with persons involved in the original recording process, as well as other jazz musicians and scholars with deep knowledge of Hancock's life, music and oeuvre. Aesthetic analyses, informed by the theories of of Kivy and Elliot, investigate the expressive or representational qualities of each composition, and examine how formal musical elements contribute to these expressive or representational qualities. Formal analyses examine elements of Hancock's compositional and improvisational style. The study concludes the Hancock's compositions and improvisations of the period exhibit a number of consistent style elements, such as sophisticated harmonic and rhythmic superimposition, that were very important influences on jazz pianists of the following generation.