Herbie Hancock's fourth Blue Note album with Freddie Hubbard, Ron Carter and Tony Williams defined the sound that his jazz work would carry to this day: funk, delicate harmonies and experimental improvisation all somehow w... more »orking together. "One Finger Snap" and, of course, "Cantaloupe Island" have become jazz classics.
Herbie Hancock's fourth Blue Note album with Freddie Hubbard, Ron Carter and Tony Williams defined the sound that his jazz work would carry to this day: funk, delicate harmonies and experimental improvisation all somehow working together. "One Finger Snap" and, of course, "Cantaloupe Island" have become jazz classics.
Includes two bonus tracks.
By the time of this release Herbie Hancock had already been with the great Miles Davis for over a year, which is the equivalent of four years at Juilliard School of Music. On Empyrean Isles, one of Herbie's earliest solo recordings we find the pianist/composer in fine shape creating some of the best jazz ever laid to wax.
What you hear on Empyrean Isles is the sound of the changing 1960's, this is the living embodiment of the movements. The stripped down and often laid back approach to this work can rival the best of the genre for that time period and the best of Hancock's work, because well this might just be his all time best work.
Without the use of trumpet we hear Hancock bring in Freddie Hubbard on a cornet adding a extra texture to the album. This revolutionary work was concidered radical in the day but now just seems revolutionary. Most notably is Tony Williams on the drum kit, and unsung hero and one of the instruments all time best. But it is Hancock who steals the show.
His compositions and mainly his work on the monster classic 'Cantaloupe Island' bring the house down. The extended workout on the quarter hour long 'The Egg' is over the top. 'Oliloqui Valley' and 'One Finger Snap' open the first side of the album and do so wonderfully but it is the latter side that kill.
Empyrean Isles is a jazz album unto itself. A hall of famer."
Not usually a jazz fan but I love this disc
James Tetreault | North Grafton, MA United States | 01/03/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I especially love Oliloqui Valley. That song has all the complexity for which jazz is known without the melodic dead ends or melodic indifference that characterize the jazz that non afficionados like myself don't like. I became interested in this disk after hearing Cantaloupe Island, which I still like a lot. But it's Oliloqui Valley that's the gem of the disc, to me. Hubbard's work on the cornet is amazing as is Carter's contra bass. Wonderful stuff that I could listen to all day long."
Catch some waves
IRate | 10/12/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
Hancock was staying as true to title as any ambitious jazz man could in the early 60's, taking off into his own dimensions with this early boundary-breaker, a solidly hot, trippyily-bopped travelogue which for all classically honed moments does have experimental indulgences as well."
THE ORIGINAL 1964 VINYL WAS LARGELY OVERLOOKED AND IT WAS TH
Mr. Nightshift | Los Angeles, CA | 02/20/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"On this Compact Disc reissue we got 2 (Two) Bonus Tracks in the form of Alternate Takes of "One Finger Snap" and "Oliloqui Valley". Surprisingly these Alternate Versions sounds better than the originals, but the jewel of this album is "Cantaloupe Island". This track was brought 'Back To Life' when Hip Hop Group US3 sampled it on their Gold Billboard Charting Top 10 Hit Single "Cantaloop" in 1993. There was such a demand for the 'Original' version by Herbie Hancock that Blue Note Records released a compilation entitled "Cantaloupe Island" that featured several of Herbie's best known Jazz Groovers like "Watermelon Man", "Maiden Voyage" and others. Back to the album at hand...Outside of the cut "Cantaloupe Island" this is a straight ahead jazz album! It's really for a jazz purist. It should also be noted that on this album Herbie Hancock is in the company of: Ron Carter, Freddie Hubbard, and Anthony Williams (a.k.a. Tony Williams)...Need I say more? This SAME group with George Coleman would return to the same studio on March 17, 1965 to record the landmark Jazz Classic "Maiden Voyage" album!"