Herbie Hancock: All That’s Jazz!

I think I was sup­posed to play jazz,” says Her­bie Han­cock. Han­cock is one of the most not­ed jazz musi­cians of all time. He was born in Chica­go in 1940, and it became appar­ent ear­ly on that he was a child piano prodi­gy. Her­bie per­formed a Mozart piano con­cert with the Chica­go Sym­pho­ny Orches­tra at age 11, then start­ed play­ing jazz in high school and lat­er dou­ble-majored in music and elec­tri­cal engi­neer­ing at Grin­nell Col­lege. His fas­ci­na­tion with musi­cal gad­gets led him to become one of the first jazz pianists to work with elec­tron­ic key­boards. And his land­mark albums blurred the bound­aries of music, effort­less­ly mix­ing jazz with funk, soul, rhythm and the blues, for­ev­er chang­ing the face of jazz. As Miles Davis once said, “Her­bie was the step after Bud Pow­ell and Thelo­nious Monk, and I haven’t heard any­body yet who has come after him.”

The doc­u­men­tary above — Her­bie Han­cock: All That’s Jazz — was pro­duced for KCET’s sig­na­ture news series “SoCal Con­nect­ed.” It retraces the most impor­tant steps in Han­cock­’s career and shows us his home, the office where his award-win­ning music is com­posed and his pri­vate rit­u­als. Very few peo­ple know that Her­bie is a very reli­gious per­son — he has been a prac­tic­ing Bud­dhist for over forty years.

Bonus mate­r­i­al:

By pro­fes­sion, Matthias Rasch­er teach­es Eng­lish and His­to­ry at a High School in north­ern Bavaria, Ger­many. In his free time he scours the web for good links and posts the best finds on Twit­ter.


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