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  • Empyrean Isles

    Herbie Hancock’s fourth album, Empyrean Isles, was not only one of the most influential jazz records of the 1960s, it helped define the post-bop style. The album features the Miles Davis rhythm section of Hancock on piano, Ron Carter on bass, and Tony Williams on drums, with the addition of Freddie Hubbard on cornet. Each musician shines individually, and together they update the traditional bop framework to include elements of modal, soul, and free jazz. Loosely based on the myths of the Empyrean Isles, “One Finger Snap” and “Cantaloupe Island” are two of Hancock’s most popular compositions. (Us3 would sample the latter’s funky piano on their hip-hop hit “Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)” 30 years later.) Album closer “The Egg” is the most experimental of the group in its extended solo improvisations, minimal melody, and cool spaciousness. Featuring some incredible interplay within the quartet, Empyrean Isles is more spontaneous and energetic than its follow-up, Maiden Voyage.

    Empyrean Isles Catalog Number:  Blue Note 1964

    Empyrean Isles Track Listing:

    Side One

    1. One Finger Snap – 7:17

    2. Oliloqui Valley – 8:27

    Side Two

    1. Cantaloupe Island – 5:30

    2. The Egg – 13:57

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