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

I think a lot of young people being brought up in this scene feel a sense of ruthlessness. There's nothing to plant them deeply down in the soil somehow so they can bend and sway from there.

And I loved it, I loved it! I wanted to be part of the newer stuff.

Buddhism has helped me toward gaining control over my own destiny, and given me the courage to follow directions I believe in.

Even during the major avant-garde period of jazz in the late '60s and early '70s, the songs usually had melodies, some harmonic starting-off point, or something to unify a particular piece in the beginning.

I don't go back to anything, I just add. Just like when you eat a meal, it you eat one thing all the time it gets kind of boring.

I think I heard the name Muddy Waters first, then John Lee Hooker.

And if I don't express that, then what's my life worth?

Buddhism opened me up to seeing things from the standpoint of being a human being - looking at the purpose of action and the effects on life.

Even the things that are on the Plugged Nickel set. I don't know how we did some of that.

I don't look at music from the standpoint of being a musician; I look at it from the standpoint of being a human being.

I think I was supposed to play jazz.

And it's also made me aware that music isn't about music.

But I can?t name a specific synthesizer that is my favorite.

Everything has focused on what the technology is capable of doing and making tools and then taking human beings and saying, what can you do with that.

I don't think there are any pure Africans of the African Americans, but the African part of our history was pretty much taken away from us during slavery, so the 60s gave us a chance, because of the civil rights movement, to kind of re-examine and make some sort of formal connection to our African-ness.

I think there's a great beauty to having problems. That's one of the ways we learn.

And jazz is also for the body because it is rhythmic, but it's also for the mind and for the soul, and it is very creative.

But I have to be careful not to let the world dazzle me so much that I forget that I'm a husband and a father.

First of all I should explain that synthesizers themselves, I don't consider them instruments, they are instrument makers, because you can program them to be whatever sound you want.

I feel a lot more secure about the directions I take, than I might have, had I not practiced Buddhism.

I took a different view of what it was I had been doing before and started to come to some realizations about the way I looked at life.

And that was fascinating, because you could do something different every time.

But if I'm banging my head against a wall because I can't come up with any ideas, that's not so much fun.

From '70 to '73 I'd had a sextet, but the band was not self-supporting and I couldn't afford it, so I broke it up. And then I didn't know what kind of music I wanted to do, because I was just fed up to here with it. It wasn't fulfilling anymore.

I get bored easily, but later I learned that it is OK to do something that others have done.

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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