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The Prisoner
Herbie Hancock
The Prisoner
Genres: Jazz, Pop, R&B
 
  •  Track Listings (7) - Disc #1

This 1969 recording is a loose suite of pieces inspired by Martin Luther King and the struggle for black civil rights. Hancock wrote four of them and arranged bassist Buster Williams's "Firewater," expanding his working se...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Herbie Hancock
Title: The Prisoner
Members Wishing: 3
Total Copies: 0
Label: Blue Note Records
Release Date: 10/10/2000
Album Type: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
Genres: Jazz, Pop, R&B
Styles: Jazz Fusion, Modern Postbebop, Bebop, Funk
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 724352564927

Synopsis

Amazon.com
This 1969 recording is a loose suite of pieces inspired by Martin Luther King and the struggle for black civil rights. Hancock wrote four of them and arranged bassist Buster Williams's "Firewater," expanding his working sextet to a nonet for the date with flute, bass clarinet, and bass trombone. The additional winds add delicacy and texture to an already powerful band, and the expanded palette allows Hancock to show untapped strengths as an orchestrator, enlarging the harmonic inference of strongly felt themes that are by turns majestic, assertive, and pensive. A fine balance is maintained between compositional form and subtle voicings on one hand, and the turbulent, explosive energies in the music and the band, from the churning rhythms of Williams and drummer Albert Heath to the coiling snap of Joe Henderson's tenor. Maintaining that balance with Hancock is underrated trumpeter Johnny Coles, who's superb in leads as well as solos, bringing all the experience he gained with Gil Evans and Charles Mingus to bear on Hancock's work. The final recording of Hancock's 1960s Blue Note tenure, this is ambitious and accomplished work. The CD reissue adds two alternate takes to the original LP. The shorter version of "The Prisoner" is notable for Henderson's intense, fluid solo. --Stuart Broomer

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CD Reviews

A Wonderful Gem
A. Davis | Greenville, SC | 05/05/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

""The Prisoner" has got to be the most overlooked recording in Herbie Hancock's catalog. This gem is blessed with great music and some intense solos - especially from saxophonist Joe Henderson and trombonist Garnett Brown. I love the way the bass clarinets and trombones make this music float and swing without getting too heavy. Buster Williams (Bass) and Albert Heath (Drums) provide the perfect rhythm section for Herbie to dance and dazzle while Hubert laws and Jerome Richardson provide some colorful Flute to give these compositions added beauty. As a group, this band is tight and on the mark. Beautiful compositions plus intense group chemistry equals five stars for this well polished recording. Check it out!!!"
I can't believe only one person has reviewed this.
JD Bellow | NYC | 07/24/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The unbearable Dave Matthews band gets so much attention, while this beautiful work of art is ignored? The music here is like a romantic walk through Central Park on a cool, crisp day in October. It's got the great, late Joe Henderson doing some fine work and Gil Evans trumpet player Johnny Coles laying down some melodic sounds. In fact, the album was influenced primarily by Evans. If you want some soothing sonic brilliance to keep you company, give this a try."
Wonderful
D. Biswas | India | 09/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is the time when Herbie is drifting slowly towards the funk session. The numbers from this album will make you feel the same. A solid lineup with Al Tootie Heath on drums accompanied by Joe Henderson is quite a unique masterpiece.

Big Thanks to Mr. Rudy Van Gelder at Van Gelder Studio who has recorded some everlasting Jazz classics and this is one of them."