Herbie Hancock, fully Herbert Jeffrey "Herbie" Hancock

Hancock, fully Herbert Jeffrey "Herbie" Hancock

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

Author Quotes

'What's music supposed to be about anyway? Is it a means for a musician to masturbate, or is it for people to listen to?

Wisdom is the key to understanding the age, creating the time.

I want to have a purpose.

I'm aiming that towards people, towards humanity, not even just musicians. Because this is about life, not about musicians.

It was interesting putting this record together, because I was putting it together with musicians who claim that I was a big influence on the music they're making now.

Like no matter what happens, this would be the ultimate, they can make something positive happen.

One of the greatest attributes of jazz, I think, is that it is that open.

So, he taught me how to play a simple riff and I somehow found a couple of other notes to play, then I learned how to watch his left hand and I learned where the notes were.

The result is a music that allows us to all go outside the pigeonholes the music business forces us to stay in. We're breaking down expectations, walking the tightrope, while not scaring our fan bases away.

Tradition can be negative though, if the importance of having roots outweighs the importance of searching for what's valuable in new things being presented.

When I did Future 2 Future, it occurred to me, that I hadn't really done anything in electric music in a while.

Without wisdom, the future has no meaning, no valuable purpose.

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.

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Hancock, fully Herbert Jeffrey "Herbie" Hancock
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American Pianist, Keyboardist, Bandleader and Composer, part of Miles Davis's Second Great Quintet