Herbie Hancock, fully Herbert Jeffrey "Herbie" Hancock

Herbie
Hancock, fully Herbert Jeffrey "Herbie" Hancock
1940

American Pianist, Keyboardist, Bandleader and Composer, part of Miles Davis's Second Great Quintet

Author Quotes

I wanted to work with artists who were strong enough personalities that they'd all have something of their own to bring. My foundation is jazz, which is all about interaction. Jazz gives you a lot of tools to play with.

I'm always interested in looking forward toward the future. Carving out new ways of looking at things.

It was put together in layers. The disadvantage is that there isn't really any interaction together, so you have to manufacture that interaction to make it believable.

Lionel can play anything: totally out, blues, tear-jerking stuff, rock and African... Carlos didn't know him, but he trusted my judgment. When Lionel played, he blew everyone's minds -- the audience and Carlos' band. Their jaws were hanging.

One thing I like about jazz is that it emphasized doing things differently from what other people were doing.

Sometimes it was good and sometimes it wasn't, but I had to stand up for all of it or else I couldn't play any of it. I learned how to be courageous from that experience.

The spirit of jazz is the spirit of openness.

We are all on the same trip in the band. We all realize that people in the music business, and the audience have an eye on us because collectively our history is extensive.

When I discovered Buddhism, I realized that Buddhism agrees with that. Buddhism adds something, too, which is that your life also never begins. It's eternal.

You asked me before about being an innovator and I mentioned that I've always been some kind of leader.

I was a jazz purist at the time, I had tunnel vision about jazz and classical music,

I'm always looking to create new avenues or new visions of music.

It's a statement of our position, which is that we are not making this record in order to honor technology; we're not slaves to that, we don't want to be slaves to that.

Miles' sessions were not typical of anybody else's sessions. They were totally unique.

One thing that attracted me to Buddhism was the support for this larger vision of values.

Sometimes you can practice something but what you wind up playing when you're out doing a gig is not what you practiced. What you learn is not necessarily what you practice.

The thing is, much of the way I look at music now, and its role as an aspect of culture, and creative expression for human beings in the 21st century, much of the way I look at it for a record like Future 2 Future is very similar to how I might look at it for a record like Directions in Music.

We are eternally linked not just to each other but our environment.

When I do concerts, because I've been in the business for a long time and certain pieces of music have become associated with me, I do some pieces from the past.

You can expand, repeat, even change keys and do other things electronically to give certain elements and phrases more cohesiveness.

I was blown away when Donald asked me to stay in the band. He said that both he and the band really liked my playing.

I'm an American man, and I'm concerned about the present and the future as has as this country and its people are concerned.

It's not exclusive, but inclusive, which is the whole spirit of jazz.

Most people think that classical music is a higher form than jazz only because it is from Europe, and we were taught in schools only about Western European history.

Other highlights? When I started practicing Buddhism 21 years ago. Marrying the woman I married 26 years ago; my wife is quite a woman. The birth of my daughter. Joining Miles Davis' band.

Author Picture
First Name
Herbie
Last Name
Hancock, fully Herbert Jeffrey "Herbie" Hancock
Birth Date
1940
Bio

American Pianist, Keyboardist, Bandleader and Composer, part of Miles Davis's Second Great Quintet