Herbie Hancock – The Prisoner (1969/2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/192 kHz | Time – 41:16 minutes | 1,52 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks.com | © Blue Note Records
Originally released as Blue Note BST 84321
“In preparing these hi def remasters, we were very conscientious about maintaining the feel of the original releases while adding a previously unattainable transparency and depth. It now sounds like you’ve set up your chaise lounge right in the middle of Rudy Van Gelder’s studio!” – Blue Note President, Don Was.
Herbie Hancock’s The Prisoner was one of his first records after leaving the Miles Davis quintet in 1968. The album was done in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, a musical social statement focused around civil rights while exploring the vastness of the new jazz form known as post-bop. The recording features Garnett Brown on trombone, Joe Henderson on tenor saxophone and alto flute, Johnny Coles on flugelhorn, Buster Williams on bass, and Albert Heath on drums. Although post-bop wasn’t as conventional as jazz or bop, Hancock’s challenging compositions invite listeners into his world of simple melodies and emotionally austere music.
As one of the first albums Herbie Hancock recorded after departing Miles Davis’ quintet in 1968, as well as his final album for Blue Note, The Prisoner is one of Hancock’s most ambitious efforts. Assembling a nonet that features Joe Henderson (tenor sax, alto flute), Johnny Coles (flugelhorn), Garnett Brown (trombone), Buster Williams (bass), and Albert “Tootie” Heath (drums), he has created his grandest work since My Point of View. Unlike that effort, The Prisoner has a specific concept — it’s a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, evoking his spirit and dreams through spacious, exploratory post-bop. Often, the music doesn’t follow conventional patterns, but that doesn’t mean that it’s alienating or inaccessible. It is certainly challenging, but Hancock’s compositions (and his arrangement of Charles Williams’ “Firewater”) have enough melody and space to allow listeners into the album. Throughout the record, Hancock, Coles, and Henderson exchange provocative, unpredictable solos that build upon the stark melodies and sober mood of the music. The tone is not of sorrow or celebration, but of reflection and contemplation, and on that level, The Prisoner succeeds handsomely, even if the music meanders a little too often to be judged a complete success.
01 – I Have A Dream
02 – The Prisoner
03 – Firewater
04 – He Who Lives In Fear
05 – Promise Of The Sun
Recorded April 18, 21, & 23, 1969 at Van Gelder Studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.
Herbie Hancock — piano, electric piano
Johnny Coles — flugelhorn
Garnett Brown — trombone
Joe Henderson — tenor saxophone, alto flute
Buster Williams — bass
Tootie Heath — drums
Tony Studd — bass trombone (1, 2, 4)
Jack Jeffers — bass trombone (3, 5)
Hubert Laws — flute (1, 2, 4)
Jerome Richardson — bass clarinet (1, 2, 4), flute (3, 5)
Romeo Penque — bass clarinet (3, 5)