"Possibilities" is an intimate documentary about Herbie Hancock and his in-studio collaborations with a dozen formidable pop recording artists, collaborations that explore the unexpected, like jazz improvisations. The film is also about how Herbie's unique world view shapes a creative environment that encourages artists to step outside the velvet prison of easy expectations. "The hip stuff," Herbie tells Trey Anastasio, in a scene from the film, "is outside the comfort zone." "Possibilities" follows Herbie over a year and a half collaborating with musical icons Carlos Santana, Sting, Angelique Kidjo, Annie Lennox and Paul Simon, young superstars Christina Aguilera, John Mayer, Trey Anastasio and Jonny Lang and newcomers Joss Stone, Raul Midon, Damien Rice and Lisa Hannigan. The film also puts Herbie's latest work in the context of his extraordinary musical career, and includes rarely seen archival footage of Herbie with the Miles Davis Quintet in 1962; Herbie leading his Headhunters.
"Possibilities" is an intimate documentary about Herbie Hancock and his in-studio collaborations with a dozen formidable pop recording artists, collaborations that explore the unexpected, like jazz improvisations. The film is also about how Herbie's unique world view shapes a creative environment that encourages artists to step outside the velvet prison of easy expectations. "The hip stuff," Herbie tells Trey Anastasio, in a scene from the film, "is outside the comfort zone."
After Man-Child, alas, Herbie Hancock's American jazz-funk records in the 1970s grew gradually more commercial, less stimulating, and crucially, less truly funky with each release, even as his equipment rack grew larger. Just take a look at the staggering collection of keyboards on the back cover of the Sunlight LP – all sought-after collectors' items now – yet Hancock makes so little use of their possibilities here. For much of the album, he seems most interested in establishing a new career as an electronic vocalist.
Possibilities, by jazz piano/keyboard legend Herbie Hancock, with songs by Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, and Leon Russell, is a multigenerational masterpiece. Rock's "it boy" John Mayer leads off the CD with the spare, bouncy opener, "Stitched Up." Brit-born soul girl Joss Stone and bluesman Jonny Lang get down on the gutbucket "When Love Comes to Town." Christina Aguilera’s excellent vocals illuminate "A Song for You." Not to be outdone, Annie Lennox delivers an operatic take on Holly Cole’s "Hush, Hush, Hush," while Sting's "Sister Moon" swings with stealthy syncopations. Santana and the Beninese singer Angelique Kidjo provide the world flavor on "Safiotou," and the dreamy "Gelo No Montana," with ex-Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio, is the lone instrumental. Hancock’s tight solos and intelligent orchestral synths radiate all of the tracks. Like Frank Sinatra’s Duets and Ray Charles’s Genius Loves Company, Possibilities introduces Hancock to a new and awestruck generation. ~ Eugene Holley, Jr.
This disc is a bit unusual in a few ways. Vibraphonist Dave Pike sticks here exclusively to the marimba, while pianist Herbie Hancock is heard throughout on organ, an instrument he rarely played again. The band also includes two trumpeters (most notably Clark Terry who has a few short solos) and a rhythm section with guitarist Billy Butler. Most of the music consists of obscurities and is open to the influences of the boogaloo and pop rhythms of the era; highlights include Hancock's "Blind Man, Blind Man," "Sunny" and "Devilette." An interesting effort.
Mirroring his onetime boss and mentor Miles Davis' own protean output, Herbie Hancock has explored hard bop, soul-jazz, fusion, funk-rock, soundtracks, hip-hop-inflected pop ("Rockit"), and many permutations in between. His early work for Blue Note, though, offers the best entrée for newcomers. Compiled from five of his albums for the label and covering a period from 1962-1968, this fine sampler includes highlights from his debut, Takin' Off ("Watermelon Man"), the classic Maiden Voyage (the title track and "Dolphin Dance"), and the early electric album Speak Like a Child (the title track and "Riot"). Add to this more indelible cuts like "Cantaloupe Island" and "One Finger Snap," not to mention the presence of numerous '60s jazz luminaries (Dexter Gordon, Freddie Hubbard, Thad Jones, Hank Mobley, Billy Higgins, et al.), and you have perfect way to get a taste of some of the best modern jazz committed to wax.
Formed in Berlin in 1968, Birth Control were known for a progressive hard rock sound fused will elements of jazz, psychedelia and Krautrock. A surreal concept work from 1976 recorded by legendary producer Conny Plank, Backdoor Possibilities arguably marked their final creative peak, combining rock, jazz and avant-garde stylings with intricate polyrhythmic textures and lyrical nods to Faust and Odysseus. This expanded double disc edition has been remastered by Zeus B. Held and features three bonus live tracks recorded in Korbach on 1 May 1977, as well as a bonus live disc taped at the famous Sartory Saal in Cologne on 24 September 1976.