Rolling Stone - 9/2/71, p.44
"...ranges from the street-strutting funk of the early 'Watermelon Man' through statements succesfully more challenging and complex..."
JazzTimes - p.65
"[Hancock is] a musician with passion, an open mind and an awareness of history that constantly propels him forward into new sonic territory."
Personnel: Herbie Hancock (vocals, piano, keyboards, synthesizer, vocoder, programming); Stevie Wonder (vocals, harmonica); Wayne Shorter, Bennie Maupin (tenor saxophone); Eddie Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Miles Davis (trumpet); Julian Priester (trombone); Alphonse Mouzon (keyboards, drums); Ron Carter (upright bass); Jaco Pastorius, Paul Jackson , Bill Laswell (bass guitar); Harvey Mason, Sr. , Terri Lyne Carrington, Tony Williams (drums); Bill Summers (percussion).
Liner Note Author: Bob Belden.
A bold jazz innovator whose stylistic range is rivaled only by his mentor, Miles Davis, keyboardist/composer/bandleader Herbie Hancock receives Columbia/Legacy's ESSENTIAL treatment on this excellent 2006 two-disc set. Although whittling the finest moments of Hancock's strikingly eclectic, decades-spanning career down to a mere 20 tracks is an exercise in futility, the collection reveals admirable results within those constraints, offering up tunes from 1962 to 2000. Among the many brilliant moments on this comp are Hancock's swinging hard-bop classics "Watermelon Man" and "Cantaloupe Island" (both featuring ace trumpeter Freddie Hubbard), the fiercely funky "Chameleon," and the groundbreaking electro-pop hit "Rockit." Although many of Hancock's individual albums are essential in their own right, and the four-disc HERBIE HANCOCK BOX delves deeper into his daunting catalogue, this compilation is the perfect introduction to the stunning stylistic and technical breadth of the pioneering artist's output.