Has any other jazz musician had as stunning a recording debut as Herbie Hancock? 22 at the time of Takin' Off when he was working regularly as the pianist with the Donald Byrd-Pepper Adams Quintet, Hancock caused many waves in the jazz world with his first Blue Note album. Not only did he introduce his hit "Watermelon Man" (which Mongo Santamaria would soon rocket to international fame) and not only did he hold his own with such giants as Dexter Gordon and Freddie Hubbard, but Hancock was already displaying a strikingly original piano style.
While inspired by Bill Evans and Chicagoan Chris Anderson, Hancock was employing his own adventurous harmonies and chord voicings. He hints at free improvisation on "The Maze," displays his own brand of funky soul on "Empty Pockets," and is impressionistic on the ballad "Alone And I." It was obvious to all of those who heard Takin' Off in 1962 that this relatively unknown pianist was already a long way towards be Coming one of jazz's greats. Takin' Off, which could be subtitled "Birth of A Legend," is now available the way it should be, in pristine sound.
Like all Music Matters Jazz releases, this audiophile vinyl reissue is mastered from the original analog tape and pressed on 180g virgin vinyl at RTI in Camarillo, CA. The highest quality gatefold cover features original session photography on the inside.See more Herbie Hancock records here