- Released: January 29, 2001
- Label: Warner Bros Uk
- 2.Fat Mama
- 3.Tell Me A Bedtime Story
- 4.Oh! Oh! Here He Comes
- 6.Fat Albert Rotunda
- 7.Lil' Brother
Hey, hey, hey, it's Herbie Hancock. The pianist is joined here by saxophonist Joe Henderson, bassist Buster Williams, guitarist Eric Gale, and drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath, and a host of others, on this collection of jazz/funk tunes based on the music that Herbie composed for Bill Cosby's Saturday morning cartoon,
Personnel: Herbie Hancock (vocals, piano, electric piano, keyboards, synthesizer); Joe Henderson (alto flute, tenor saxophone); Johnny Coles (trumpet, flugelhorn, horns); Garnett Brown (trombone); Buster Williams (acoustic bass, electric bass, percussion); Billy Hart (drums, percussion); Albert "Tootie" Heath (drums).
Recording information: Van Gelder Studios, Englewood Cliffs, NJ (05/1969-06/1969).
Arranger: Herbie Hancock.
Centered around some soundtrack music that Herbie Hancock wrote for Bill Cosby's Fat Albert cartoon show, Fat Albert Rotunda was Hancock's first full-fledged venture into jazz-funk -- and his last until Head Hunters -- making it a prophetic release. At the same time, it was far different in sound from his later funk ventures, concentrating on a romping, late-'60s-vintage R&B-oriented sound. with frequent horn riffs and great rhythmic comping and complex solos from Hancock's Fender Rhodes electric piano. The syllables of the titles alone -- "Wiggle Waggle," "Fat Mama," "Oh! Oh! Here He Comes" -- have a rhythm and feeling that tell you exactly how this music saunters and swaggers along -- just like the jolly cartoon character. But there is more to this record than fatback funk. There is the haunting, harmonically sophisticated "Tell Me a Bedtime Story" (which ought to become a jazz standard), and the similarly relaxed "Jessica." The sextet on hand is a star-studded bunch, with Joe Henderson in funky and free moods on tenor sax, Johnny Coles on trumpet, Garnett Brown on trombone, Buster Williams on bass, and Albert "Tootie" Heath on drums. Only Williams would remain for Hancock's 1977 electric V.S.O.P.: The Quintet album to come. In addition, trumpeter Joe Newman, saxophonist Joe Farrell, guitarist Eric Gale, and drummer Bernard Purdie make guest appearances on two tracks. ~ Richard S. Ginell