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 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.

I try stuff. I synthesize what's of value with some of the other things I have at my disposal.

And you allow yourself to play off that plane. You're in this dark room of unknowns, you allow yourself to go there.

But I'm not so focused on intensity from that kind of testosterone level that a lot of jazz is on.

Getting the Oscar had the biggest impression on me.

I had just come out of college, and I figured that I would probably be in Chicago for the next couple of years, and then maybe, I'd get a chance to go to New York and hang out with the big boys.

I try to practice with my life.

Another convention is that the drummer and bass player are timekeepers, but there's no reason they have to be bound to that.

But I'm talking about responsibility, a sense of responsibility. Developing software to help human beings develop more of a sense of responsibility. Kids need that. Adults need it too. More self-worth. More self-respect.

He just blew me away and what it taught me was that Miles didn't hear it as a mistake.

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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