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  • Takin’ Off

    A childhood piano prodigy, Herbie Hancock developed an interest in jazz in high school, and trained his ear on the works of Oscar Peterson, George Shearing, and the Hi-Lo’s. He released his debut solo album, Takin’ Off, in 1962 at the age of 22. Falling in line with classic Blue Note Productions hard-bop – two horns (Freddie Hubbard on trumpet and Dexter Gordon on tenor sax) and a rhythm section (bassist Butch Warren and drummer Billy Higgins) – Takin’ Off is funky, blues-rooted, and among Hancock’s most conventional albums. It contains one of his best-known solo works, “Watermelon Man,” which became a jazz standard after it was covered by Latin jazz star Mongo Santamaria. As highlights like “Alone and I,” “The Maze”, and “Empty Pockets” illustrate, Hancock’s compositions are memorable and accomplished. So much so that they garnered the attention of Miles Davis, who would later recruit Hancock for his “second great quintet.” A decidedly stunning debut, Hancock was just getting started.

    Takin’ Off Catalog Number:  Columbia JC 35764

    Takin’ Off Track Listing:

    Side One

    1. Watermelon Man – 7:09

    2. Three Bags Full – 5:27

    3. Empty Pockets – 6:09

    Side Two

    1. The Maze – 6:45

    2. Driftin’ – 6:58

    3. Alone and I – 6:25

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