Q - 11/94, p.1403 Stars
- Good - "...with it's come-on-down piano, Freddie Hubbard's steel-blue trumpet and the hustle and stutter of Tony William's drumming...[it's] full of the pianist's genius for nourishing jazz spontaneity in pop formats..."
Personnel: Herbie Hancock (piano); George Coleman, Dexter Gordon, Hank Mobley (tenor saxophone); Donald Byrd, Freddie Hubbard (trumpet); Grachan Moncur III (trombone); Grant Green (guitar); Chuck Israels, Butch Warren, Ron Carter (bass); Billy Higgins, Tony Williams (drums).
Producer: Alfred Lion.
Compilation producer: Michael Cuscuna.
Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey between 1962 and 1965. Includes liner notes by Michael Cuscuna.
Personnel: Herbie Hancock (piano, keyboards).
A mini-retrospective of Herbie Hancock's early years as a jazz artist, this six-track CD touches on some of his best-known small-ensemble works from that period. Of his first five albums for Blue Note Records from 1963-1965, Takin' Off, My Point of View, Empyrean Isles, and Maiden Voyage are represented -- his third and perhaps most individually realized LP, Inventions & Dimensions, is not. You get hits "Canteloupe Island," "Watermelon Man," "Maiden Voyage," and three lesser titles, which remove it from "best-of" status. His sixth and seventh full-length Blue Note recordings, The Prisoner and Speak Like a Child, are also omitted. This is a decent, edited, and concise, but far from comprehensive view of Hancock's salad days, which some purport might still be his best. ~ Michael G. Nastos