Herbie Hancock   Empyrean Isles
4.2
excellent
Release Date: 1964
Tracklist

 Full ReviewRatings (196) Give your Rating

4.5 superbAlabaster Jones | January 26th 17

This is the first work of Herbie Hancock's in which his inherently experimental writing style worked on every level. Seeing the limitations that the trumpet had in playing certain styles, he eschewed them by writing the trumpet's (or in this case, the cornet, played by the ineffable Freddie Hubbard) parts very fluidly; part written and part improvisation, similar to how he wrote for the piano on his last album. What follows is one of the most delicate, deliberate, and decidedly minimal mixtures of hard/post-bop, in certain spots having a lean towards the modal. The first two tracks here are passionate and strong hard bop numbers, though the end of "Oliloqui Valley" switches to post-bop. A famously funky number comes through with "Cantaloupe Island", one of Hancock's most revered songs, before the album closes with "The Egg", a lengthy-yet-minimal track that combines hard/post-bop/modal into a beautifully meticulous sound. Truly then, Empyrean Isles was the first fully realized work of jazz's next great genius.

2 Bumps | Bump

3.0 goodTRMshadow | February 22nd 12

I guess I'm just not getting it. All I hear when I hear this is a bunch of noodling. 3.1/5

1 Bumps | Bump

4.0 excellentGamamJ | August 7th 20

The third track might be standard early Herbie and jazz, but tracks 1, 2 and especially 4 break countless boundaries. The Egg is Herbie as he would be known after this album and is truly masterfull, the first three tracks are also solid. Love Hubbard on the opener.

Bump

4.5 superbAnimalsAsSummit | April 11th 16

All I think when I hear this is " Holy hell this insane for 1964".... because it is, Hancock broke serious boundaries with this one. An essential jazz album with songs ranging from beautiful modal sensibilities to freeform, almost classical avant-garde... Listen to it asap

Bump

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