A couple of years ago, I went to see Herbie Hancock at the Hampton Casino Ballroom in New Hampshire. He put on a great show and his band are fantastic musicians. They started off with a jam for a warm up and the tenor sax player played a solo of epic proportions. I wish I could remember names because he is great. The only ones I can remember are the guitar player, Li’onel and one of the vocalists, Amy Keys. He had another vocalist I can’t remember her name either. To say one of them was great is to say they all are. Amy and Herbie did a call and response that was fantiastic, he couldn’t trip her up, she matched every pitch perfectly. Both vocalists had amazing voices and added so much to the show.
Li’onel, the Sax player, and the String Bass player all had their own showcase. I have mentiond some of the sax player’s already with his epic solo but he also had another one during a composition that Li’onel had written. This song is called “17” called that because it is written in 17, a very unusual meter. Everyone who played a solo was amazing, I don’t even know how you could keep time in that meter, but they did and it was awesome.
The String Bass player had a turn on the stage by himself and Herbie gave him such an introduction. He talked about what a good man he is and how you can hear what is in his heart by how he plays. Let me tell you, he was absoloutely right. Whatever it was that he played, it was beautiful. I had never heard a bass solo or composition like that before.
Li’onel’s showcase was also very special. Herbie called him his “secret weapon”. A secret weapon: of love, respect, friendship and musicianship. What he did on that stage when he was by himself was absoloute genius. When he was done, I turned to the person next to me and asked him “how do you explain that to someone who wasn’t here?” He replied “you don’t, haha , you can’t.” I believe he is right because I don’t know how or what to say to do Li’onel justice. Again, it was another showing of something I have never seen or heard before.
I waited to mention Herbie last because , well, what can you say? He is great. He talked about the days when he played with Miles and a bunch of other jazz greats and the newer people he has played with. Herbie won the best album of the year at the Grammys, and rightfully so. I personally think it is about time a jazz album won album of the year.
Unfortunately, I had to leave before the show was over because I had to get up early the next morning, but I saw two and a half hours and he was still going. The show, as I have mentioned, was amazing. I hope I get the opportunity see him again.
Thank you for reading this post, James