Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Bittorent download: Herbie Hancock's Mwandishi - Nice, France 7/21/71

This is a wonderful live recording of the Mwandishi band featuring Hancock on electric and acoustic piano, Eddie Henderson on trumpet, Bennie Maupin on saxophone and bass clarinet, Billy Hart on drums, Julian Priester on trombone and Buster Williams on bass. Where a lot of the concert tapes of Hancock's bands from this period have muddy and murky sound, this one is crystal clear and you can really hear the dynamic improvisation the band had going on. There are only three selections here, but each clocks in at around twenty minutes, making for a generous amount of fine music. "Ostinato (Suite for Angela)" begins the music with Hancock on electric piano spinning a funky improvisation backed by bubbling bass clarinet and electric bass. After hearing the band milk this groove for nearly twenty minutes, it's amazing to hear them shift gears on a dime and move into the extended acoustic improvisation of "Toys" featuring a beautiful upright bass solo for Williams. The Hancock band always seemed to mine a spacier groove than the Miles Davis electric band, and the final track "You'll Know When You Get There" sets up a patient, spacey nearly psychedelic groove. This is a wonderful concert in excellent fidelity - hopefully it will be released to the general public at some point... collectors shouldn't have all the fun.

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