Herbie Hancock - Flood - 180g 2LP

Product no.: SOPZ98-99

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Herbie Hancock - Flood - 180g 2LP
£41.99
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AAA 100% Analogue This LP was Remastered using Pure Analogue Components Only from the Master Tapes through to the Cutting Head

Speakers Corner / Sony SOPZ 98-99 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl - 

AAA 100% Analogue - Limited Edition - Pressed at Pallas Germany

Mastered by Rainer Mallard at Emil Berliner - Audiophile Mastering 

hi-fi + Dennis Davis, January 2016 Recording 9.5/10   Music 9/10   

HIFI Choice 5/5 Sounds as good as it looks

Not everyone warmed to Herbie Hancock's new direction in the first half of the 1970s, moving from traditional jazz to more funk soaked popular crossover music. Looking back forty years later, these releases seem less threatening and perhaps even more creative. And among the best of these releases is this two-LP set originally released in 1975 by Columbia's Japanese label. Recorded at two concerts during a Japanese tour of the Headhunters, the band plays updated versions of some of his greatest hits - `Watermelon Man', 'Maiden Voyage' and 'Chameleon'.  The group mixes acoustic instruments, like sax and piano, with electric instruments for an edgy yet acoustic based sound. If you're looking for the latest compositions, look elsewhere as there is little here that's new, but what is here is performed at the peak of the band's abilities playing live to an appreciative audience. The sound varies from 'excellent' to `knock your socks off'. The ban's rendition of 'Chameleon' is one of the most three-dimensional recordings I've ever heard. It's so good that I would want this two LP set for that cut alone. Mastered at Emil Berliner Studios by senior engineer Rainer Mallard, the LP sound better than ever. DD

In the summer of 1975, the Herbie Hancock Sextet made a hugely successful tour of Japan, which made people aware of a 'new' Hancock. The last LP that the keyboard virtuoso had recorded, "Thrust", was already one year old, and the film music for the Charles Bronson classic "Death Wish" was received negatively by his fans. At his concerts in Tokyo, Herbie Hancock reached back to his hits: "Maiden Voyage", "Chameleon", and the famous, soulful "Watermelon Man" made the fans at his concert hall and open-air appearances go wild with enthusiasm. Forty years later I have the courage to confess that I couldn’t have cared less about this music at the time; in Europe there was enough that was new and exciting to see and listen to. However, this re-release in its original format has given me the opportunity to check out whether this music has withstood the test of time. And I must say: it has passed the test! Just listen to Herbie at his best!
 

Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters take to the road in the live double album Flood, recorded and released only in Japan. Contrary to the impression left by his American releases at this time, Hancock was still very much attached to the acoustic piano, as his erudite opening workout on "Maiden Voyage/Actual Proof" with his funk rhythm section makes clear. The electric keyboards, mostly Rhodes piano and clavinet, make their first appearances on side two, where Hancock now becomes more of a funky adjunct to the rhythm section, bumping along with a superb feeling for the groove while Bennie Maupin takes the high road above on a panoply of winds. Except for "Voyage," the tunes come from the Head Hunters, Thrust, and Man-Child albums (another reason why this was not released in the U.S.). "Chameleon" comes with a lengthy outbreak of machine pink noise that attests to Hancock's wide-eyed love of gadgetry. In all, this was a great funk band, not all that danceable because of the rapid complexities of Mike Clark's drumming, and quite often, full of harmonic depth and adventure.

Recording: June and July 1975 at Shibuja Kohkaido and Nakano Sun Plaza, Tokyo, by Tomoo Suzuki
Production: David Rubinson

Musicians:
Herbie Hancock, keyboards
Bennie Maupin, saxophones, clarinet, flute, percussion
Dewayne "Blackbird" McKnight, guitar
Paul Jackson, bass
Mike Clark, drums
Bill Summers, percussion, congas

Selections:
LP 1
Side A:
1. Introduction / Maiden Voyage
2. Actual Proof
Side B:
3. Spank-A-Lee
4. Watermelon Man

LP 2 
Side C:
1. Butterfly
2. Chameleon
Side D:
1. Hang Up Your Hang Ups

 

Herbie Hancock - Flood - 180g 2LP

 

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