Herbert Jeffrey "Herbie" Hancock (* 12. April 1940 in Chicago , Illinois ) is an American jazz - pianist and composer and Oscar - and Grammy award winner. Hancock's improvisation is characterized by a sparkling, " funky " style of play and the use of expressive cross rhythms . Many of his compositions have become classics and serve other jazz musicians as a basis for improvisation. These include Watermelon Man , Cantaloupe Island and Maiden Voyage , all of which appeared on the Blue Note label in the 1960s .
The early years
Hancock is the son of Wayman Edward Hancock, the owner of a grocery store, and his wife Winnie Belle, b. Griffin, a secretary. When his father was to be drafted in the Second World War, he sold his shop hastily and far below its value, but was not drafted and then had to earn his living by driving taxis and buses, delivering mail and as a meat inspector for the government agency.
His parents taught him a love of music from the very beginning. At the age of seven they bought him a piano that he practiced persistently - instead of the usual sporting leisure activities at his age. The rest of the free time he devoted to scientific and electronic topics. However, his academic performance did not suffer as a result, in fact he was able to skip two classes. His teachers and mother encouraged him to listen to opera broadcasts on the radio, which allowed him to deepen his understanding of music and piano playing.
At the age of eleven, Hancock performed Mozart's 5th Piano Concerto in D major with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra . He also played jazz , which he finally devoted himself to. During his high school years he listened to recordings by Oscar Peterson and George Shearing for hours , transcribed their grades on paper, and then replayed them. This lengthy exercise improved his ability to analyze and dissect harmonic structures, rhythmic patterns and ways of instrumentation. After high school, he enrolled at Grinnell College in Iowa in 1956 to study electrical engineering. He learned the basics of electronics there, but after two years he switched to music composition, which he graduated in 1960. He then returned to Chicago and played with Coleman Hawkins , among others . Due to a devastating snow storm, the pianist from Donald Byrd's group was unable to get to Chicago in time for Hancock to stand in for him. Byrd was so impressed that he took him to New York City and introduced him to his jazz colleagues there.
In 1962 he was able to record his debut album Takin 'Off with well-known musicians such as Dexter Gordon and Freddie Hubbard on the Blue Note label. This record also featured Watermelon Man , one of his most popular pieces ever, which became a hit in the version of the percussionist Mongo Santamaria . To date (2020) the piece has been recorded by more than 200 musicians. In 1963 Hancock was next to George Coleman (later replaced by Wayne Shorter ), Ron Carter and Tony Williams member of the famous second quintet by Miles Davis , in which he remained until the summer of 1968. He was first heard in 1963 on the album Seven Steps to Heaven . Looking back on his collaboration with Davis, he said:
- “I was twenty-three. And Miles scared me. Great fear. We had to surpass ourselves, keep pushing our best. Miles asked a great deal, but hardly directed. He gave us the freedom to do what we wanted. He changed my life and gave me a lot of courage. "
Hancock worked on albums of the quintet such as ESP , Miles Smiles , Nefertiti and Sorcerer in the mid-1960s . For the album Miles in the Sky (1968) Davis bought his pianist a Fender Rhodes and ushered in the era of jazz rock .
But he continued to regularly record well-known records under his own name, including the classic Maiden Voyage . He has also accompanied many other musicians, such as Hank Mobley ( No Room for Squares , 1964), Wayne Shorter ( Speak No Evil , 1964), Lee Morgan ( Search for the New Land , 1964) and Bobby Hutcherson ( Happenings , 1966). He then formed his own sextet, which, however, was not commercially successful and was partially financed by Hancock through royalties for his compositions. In the late 1960s the general interest in jazz waned , so that Hancock now also composed advertising jingles for Chevrolet, Standard Oil and Eastern Air Lines . The film director and jazz connoisseur Michelangelo Antonioni successfully asked him to compose the score for his feature film Blow Up . 1969 ended the collaboration with Davis in the Bitches Brew plant .
Hancock experimented briefly with LSD in 1965. He has been a Buddhist since 1972 and a member of the new religious movement Sōka Gakkai International . From 2010 to 2011 he conducted a series of conversations about jazz and Buddhism in Japan with the Buddhists Daisaku Ikeda and Wayne Shorter , which later went into the American ( Reaching Beyond: Improvisations on Jazz, Buddhism, and a Joyful Life , 2016) and into German (2018) have been translated.
1969 put Hancock on the Swahili name Mwandishi (Eng. "Composer"); At the end of the year the album Kawaida was created , which was initially released under the name of the drummer Tootie Heath . He was also involved in Miroslav Vitouš 's album Infinite Search . In the 1970s, Herbie Hancock increasingly used electrical and electronic instruments such as the Fender-Rhodes piano, the Hohner D6 and various synthesizers , such as the Hohner D6 , to expand his sound spectrum . B. the ARP 2600 . Hancock is a downright technology freak who always adapted the latest available technology - from the vocoder to the first Moog and Korg synthesizers to the latest laptop.
At the time, Hancock also declared that he loved funk music, especially that of Sly Stone , and formed a sextet that was financially a disaster; he financed the band for four years from the royalties on his hit Watermelon Man . His album Fat Albert Rotunda (1970), a first attempt on the funky wave for a TV special by Bill Cosby , was followed by benchmark albums such as Mwandishi (1971) and octet-cast Sextant (1973). In 1973 he started his funk band The Headhunters , which also included Bennie Maupin from his former sextet, bassist Paul Jackson , percussionist Bill Summers and drummer Harvey Mason . The best known from this period is the 1973 album Head Hunters , which is one of the most successful albums in the history of jazz. Other examples are Thrust , Sunlight , Monster , Mr. Hands (with Jaco Pastorius ) and Man-Child .
In 1983, Hancock worked with Bill Laswell on the Future Shock album . With the release Rockit he had a worldwide hit (the greatest instrumental hit of the 1980s); he got a Grammy for the single that made scratching popular. In 1985 he recorded the duo album Village Life with Foday Musa Suso , an African kora player.
Parallel to the increasingly electronically dominated albums and bands, the formation of the second Miles Davis quintet under the name VSOP came together in the mid-1970s around Herbie Hancock , with Freddie Hubbard replacing Miles Davis as trumpeter. In 1986 he starred with Dexter Gordon in Bertrand Tavernier's jazz film At Midnight , for which he also wrote the Oscar- winning soundtrack . Various acoustic recordings were made in the 1990s, including a tribute album in honor of Miles Davis ( A Tribute to Miles ), a duo recording with Wayne Shorter ( 1 + 1 ) and an album on which he was with an acoustic quintet Pop hits reinterpreted as new jazz standards ( New Standards ). In 2005 the album Possibilities was released , on which he can be heard together with pop artists such as Sting , Paul Simon , Carlos Santana , Damien Rice and Annie Lennox . In the same year he also played the piece Spanish Suite with Stephen Stills . It contains a seven minute piano / guitar improvisation and was featured on Stills' album Man Alive! released.
He reached a new audience in 1994 due to the success of his song Cantaloupe Island , which was covered or remixed by Us3 . For his 1996 album The New Standard , Hancock used pop songs by Peter Gabriel , Kurt Cobain and Joni Mitchell . Hancock covered a Prince song back in 1990 . In 2008 he won two Grammy Awards with the album River: The Joni Letters , a tribute to jazz-loving songwriter Joni Mitchell ; In addition to the category Best Jazz Album, also the award for Best Album of the Year . "Sextant" was included on The Wire's legendary wirelist "100 Records That Set the World on Fire (While No One Was Listening)" .
His autobiography Possibilities (2014), written with the help of Lisa Dickey, topped the JazzTimes '2014 Readers' poll .
Hancock has been married to the German decorator and art collector Gudrun "Gigi" Meixner (* Stendal ) since August 31, 1968 ; they have a daughter, Jessica. Hancock's sister Jean, a songwriter and computer analyst, died on the afternoon of August 2, 1985, at the age of 41, in an airplane accident at Dallas Airport .
In 1973 Hancock moved from New York to Los Angeles and bought a house in the Beverly Hills neighborhood for $ 72,000 on Doheny Drive (1254 North Doheny Drive), where he and his family still live today.
- Hancock loves "beautiful cars" because they are "good for the ego and peace of mind". From his first "noteworthy" royalties , which he received for his hit Water Melon Man , he bought a Shelby Cobra CSX 2000 for US $ 6,000 in 1963 , which he still owns today. The model is now worth well over a million dollars.
- Hancock's move to LA meant that he received many orders from the local film industry to compose or play film scores, as well as offers to use his jazz pieces as film scores. By 2020 the IMDb film database had listed 125 engagements. In Luc Besson's science fiction film Valerian - The City of a Thousand Planets (2017), he played the role of the Minister of Defense, who leads the operation of special agents Valerian and Laureline.
Prizes and awards (extract)
- 1984: Best R&B Instrumental Performance : Rockit
- 1985: Best R&B Instrumental Performance : Sound System
- 1988: Best Instrumental Composition : Call Sheet Blues
- 1995: Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Individual Or Group : A Tribute to Miles
- 1997: Best Instrumental Composition : Manhattan (Island Of Lights And Love)
- 1999: Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocal (s) : St. Louis Blues
- 1999: Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Individual Or Group : Gershwin's World
- 2003: Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group : Directions in Music: Live at Massey Hall (with Michael Brecker and Roy Hargrove )
- 2003: Best Jazz Instrumental Solo : My Ship
- 2005: Best Jazz Instrumental Solo : Speak Like A Child
- 2008: Album of the Year : River: The Joni Letters
- 2008: Best Contemporary Jazz Album : River: The Joni Letters
- 2012: Baloise Session Award: Musician's Musician Award
- 2013: Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
- 1984 : Best Concept Video : Rockit
- 1984 : Most Experimental Video : Rockit
- 1984 : Best Special Effects in a Video : Rockit (Special Effects: Godley & Creme )
- 1962: Takin 'Off ( Blue Note )
- 1963: My Point of View (Blue Note)
- 1963: Inventions and Dimensions (Blue Note)
- 1964: Empyrean Isles (Blue Note)
- 1965: Maiden Voyage (Blue Note)
- 1968: Speak Like a Child (Blue Note)
- 1969: The Prisoner (Blue Note)
- 1969: Fat Albert Rotunda ( Warner Bros. )
- 1971: Mwandishi (Warner Bros.)
- 1972: Crossings (Warner Bros.)
- 1973: Sextant ( CBS )
- 1973: Head Hunters (CBS) (UK:gold; US:platinum)
- 1974: Thrust (CBS)
- 1975: Man-Child (CBS)
- 1975: Flood ( CBS / Sony Japan )
- 1976: Secrets (CBS)
- 1976: VSOP (CBS)
- 1977: VSOP - The Quintet (CBS)
- 1977: VSOP - Tempest in the Colosseum (CBS / Sony)
- 1977: The Herbie Hancock Trio (CBS / Sony Japan)
- 1978: Sunlight (CBS)
- 1978: An Evening with Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea in Concert (CBS)
- 1979: VSOP - Live Under the Sky (CBS)
- 1979: Feets Don't Fail Me Now (CBS)
- 1979: Directstep (CBS / Sony Japan)
- 1979: The Piano (CBS / Sony Japan)
- 1980: Mr. Hands (CBS)
- 1980: Monster (CBS)
- 1981: Magic Windows (CBS)
- 1982: Quartet (CBS)
- 1982: Lite Me Up (CBS)
- 1983: Future Shock (CBS) (US:platinum)
- 1984: Sound System (CBS)
- 1985: with Foday Musa Suso - Village Life (CBS)
- 1988: Perfect Machine (CBS)
- 1992: A Tribute to Miles ( Reprise )
- 1994: Dis Is da Drum ( Mercury ) (DE:gold)
- 1995: Return of the Headhunters ( PolyGram )
- 1996: The New Standard ( Verve )
- 1997: with Wayne Shorter - 1 + 1 (Verve) (DE:gold)
- 1998: Gershwin's World (Verve) (DE:gold)
- 2001: Future 2 Future ( Columbia / Transparent Music)
- 2003: with Michael Brecker and Roy Hargrove - Directions in Music (Verve)
- 2005: Possibilities (Hancock Music / Hear Music / Vector / Warner) (with Christina Aguilera , Damien Rice , Joss Stone , John Mayer and Sting, among others )
- 2007: River: The Joni Letters (Verve) (with Joni Mitchell , Leonard Cohen , Norah Jones , Corinne Bailey Rae , Luciana Souza and Tina Turner, among others )
- 2008: Then and Now: The Definitive Herbie Hancock (Verve), compilation
- 2008: Hear, O Israel - A Prayer Ceremony in Jazz (with Thad Jones, Ron Carter, Jerome Richardson, Grady Tate and Jonathan Klein)
- 2010: The Imagine Project ( Sony )
- 2010: The Latin Side of Herbie Hancock (with Conrad Herwig, Eddie Palmieri and Randy Brecker)
- 2012: Complete Live at Jorgie's 1961 (with Donald Byrd and Pepper Adams Quintet)
- 1966: Blow Up - Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni
- 1973: The Spook Who Sat by the Door - Director: Ivan Dixon
- 1974: A Man Sees Red (Death Wish) - Director: Michael Winner
- 1984: Sergeant Waters - A Soldier's Story - Director: Norman Jewison
- 1986: Jo Jo Dancer - Your Life Is Calling (Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling) - Director: Richard Pryor
- 1986: The George McKenna Story (TV movie)
- 1986: At midnight (Round Midnight) - Directed by Bertrand Tavernier
- 1988: Colors - Colors of violence (Colors) - Director: Dennis Hopper
- 1988: Action Jackson - Director: Craig R. Baxley
- 1989: Harlem Nights - Directed by Eddie Murphy
- 1991: Livin 'Large! - Director: Michael Schultz
Singles and EPs
- 1969: Fat Mama
- 1969: Wiggle-Waggle
- 1972: Crossings
- 1973: Watermelon Man
- 1974: Spank-a-Lee
- 1974: Chameleon
- 1974: Palm Grease
- 1975: Hang Up Your Hang Ups
- 1976: Doin 'It
- 1978: I Thought it Was You
- 1978: Sunlight
- 1978: An Evening with Herbie Hancock & Chick Corea (& Chick Corea) (EP)
- 1979: You Bet Your Love
- 1979: Tell Everybody
- 1979: Ready or Not
- 1979: Knee Deep
- 1980: Don't Hold it In
- 1980: Just Around the Corner
- 1980: Go for It
- 1980: Stars in Your Eyes
- 1980: Making Love
- 1980: Saturday Night
- 1981: Magic Number
- 1981: Everybody's Broke
- 1981: Lite Me Up
- 1982: Gettin 'to the Good Part
- 1982: Paradise
- 1983: Rockit
- 1983: Autodrive
- 1983: Future Shock
- 1983: Rockit
- 1984: hard rock
- 1984: Metal Beat
- 1984: mega-mix
- 1984: People Are Changing
- 1986: Round Midnight
- 1988: Vibe Alive
- 1988: Beat Wise
- 1994: Call It '94
- 1995: Call It '95
- 1995: Dis Is da Drum / Call It '95 (Remixes)
- 1996: Watermelon Man
- 2001: The Essence
- 2001: The Good Part (vs. Chris Simmonds)
- 2014: Twilight Clone / Just Around the Corner
- Royal Flush (1961; 1962)
- Out of this World (1961)
- Free Form (1962; 1966)
- A New Perspective (1963; 1964)
- Feelin 'the Spirit (1962; 1963)
- Goin 'West (1962; 1966)
- Seven Steps to Heaven (1963)
- Miles Davis in Europe (1963; 1964)
- Four & More (1964; 1966)
- My Funny Valentine (1964; 1965)
- No Room for Squares (1963; 1964)
- The turnaround! (1963; 1965)
- Straight No Filter (1963; 1985)
- Search for the New Land (1964; 1966)
- Goin 'Out of My Head (1965; 1966)
- California Dreaming (1966)
- A Day in the Life (1967)
- Down Here on the Ground (1968)
- Road Song (1968)
Awards for music sales
Note: Awards in countries from the chart tables or chart boxes can be found in these.
|Country / Region||silver||gold||platinum||Sales||swell|
|Awards for music sales
(country / region, awards, sales, sources)
|Germany (BVMI)||-||3 × gold3||-||30,000||musikindustrie.de|
|France (SNEP)||-||-||-||525,900||infodisc.fr FR2|
|Canada (MC)||-||2 × gold2||-||125,000||musiccanada.com|
|United States (RIAA)||-||2 × gold2||2 × platinum2||3,500,000||riaa.com|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||silver1||gold1||-||160,000||bpi.co.uk|
|All in all||silver1||9 × gold9||2 × platinum2|
- Herbie Hancock with Lisa Dickey: Possibilities. Viking, New York City 2014, ISBN 978-0670014712 , Review:.
Herbie Hancock: Possibilities. The autobiography. With Lisa Dickey, from the American by Alan Tepper. Höfen, Hannibal 2018, ISBN 978-3-85445-650-6 , review:.
- Herbie Hancock, Daisaku Ikeda , Wayne Shorter : Ways of Life. Improvisations on jazz, Buddhism and luck. Translated by Judith Elze and Katrin Harlaß. Herder, Freiburg 2018, hardcover, ISBN 978-3-451-38286-4 , beginning of the book.
- Alphabetical -
- Christian Broecking : Herbie Hancock. Interviews. Broecking Verlag , Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-938763-12-4 , online , review:.
- Ian Carr , Digby Fairweather , Brian Priestley : Rough Guide Jazz. The ultimate guide to jazz music. 1700 artists and bands from the beginning until today. Metzler, Stuttgart / Weimar 1999, ISBN 3-476-01584-X .
- Leonard Feather , Ira Gitler : The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz. Oxford University Press, New York 1999, ISBN 0-19-532000-X , limited preview in Google Book Search, review:.
- Bob Gluck: You'll Know When You Get There: Herbie Hancock and the Mwandishi Band. University of Chicago Press, Chicago 2012, ISBN 978-0226300047 .
- Wolf Kampmann (Ed.), With the assistance of Ekkehard Jost : Reclams Jazzlexikon . Reclam, Stuttgart 2003, ISBN 3-15-010528-5 .
- Franz Krieger : Herbie Hancock's harmonics in The Sorcerer. In: Jazzforschung / Jazz Research 37, 2005, .
- Franz Krieger: Musical takeovers and originality with Herbie Hancock. In: Jazzforschung / Jazz Research 38 (2006).
- Martin Kunzler : Jazz Lexicon. Volume 1: A – L (= rororo-Sachbuch. Vol. 16512). 2nd Edition. Rowohlt, Reinbek near Hamburg 2004, ISBN 3-499-16512-0 .
- Stephen F. Pond: Head Hunters: The Making of Jazz's First Platinum Album . University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor 2005, online.
- Literature by and about Herbie Hancock in the catalog of the German National Library
- Official site of Herbie Hancock
- Herbie Hancock Biography , musicianguide.com
- Biography of the NEA Foundation
- Biography, discography and news at JazzEcho (German)
- Herbie Hancock at Discogs (English)
- Hancock Discography by Christian Genzel
- Film music and discography , filmreference.com
- Willi Winkler : Herbie Hancock on enlightenment. A single miracle. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung , September 14, 2007, interview
- Karl Lippegaus : Herbie Hancock turns 70: "Call me Herbie". In: Süddeutsche Zeitung, April 12, 2010
- Hancock dossier of the New York Times
- Christoph Dallach and Hans Hielscher: “You can't play jazz as a junkie.” In: Spiegel Online , February 22, 2008, interview.
- Karl Lippegaus : "Call me Herbie - Herbie Hancock for my 70th birthday." In: Süddeutsche Zeitung , No. 83, April 12, 2010, p. 13.
- Herbie Hancock. In: Triptikon , June 8, 2018.
- Edition of Dialogue with Legendary Jazz Greats Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter Released. In: daisakuikeda.org , January 17, 2017.
- JazzTimes Readers' Poll Results 2014. ( Memento from January 22, 2015 in the Internet Archive ). In: JazzTimes , 2014.
Photos: Herbie Hancock, Gigi Hancock. In: zimbio.com
Picture by Hancock and Meixner ( Memento from September 27, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
- Willi Winkler : Herbie Hancock on enlightenment. A single miracle. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung , September 14, 2007, interview.
- Jean Hancock, Lyricist Killed in Jet Crash. ( Memento of November 10, 2014 in the Internet Archive ). In: Chicago Tribune , August 7, 1985.
- Herbie Hancock, Options. The autobiography , Hofen 2018, p. 160
-  wikimapia
- Herbie Hancock • Soundtrack. In: IMDb , accessed on January 7, 2020.
- Chart sources: Hancocks chart data • Albums in: chartsurfer.de
- Hancock's chart data • Billboard 200
- Chart sources: Hancocks chart data • Singles in: chartsurfer.de
- Jodok Hess: With Herbie Hancock through the Jazz School of Life. In: SRF , December 8, 2014.
- Andrian Kreye : Jazz: The very bearable nonchalance of life. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung , October 8, 2018, discussion of possibilities. The autobiography.
- dpa : "Herbie Hancock" - A life artist about himself. In: Focus online , April 11, 2010.
- Review of the Encyclopedia of Jazz by Jack Sohmer: Leonard Feather and Ira Gitler. The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz. ( Memento from September 22, 2016 in the Internet Archive ). In: JazzTimes , April 2000.
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||Hancock, Herbert Jeffrey (real name)|
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||American jazz pianist and composer|
|DATE OF BIRTH||April 12, 1940|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Chicago , Illinois|