Friday, 8 November 2013

Herbie Hancock's Secrets (1976)

secrets-front
Herbie Hancock

''Secrets''
( LP Columbia Records, US, 1976 )
Catalog # PC 34280

Herbert Jeffrey Hancock. American pianist, keyboardist, composer, band leader. Born 12 April 1940 in Chicago, Illinois.
Hancock is one of the best known modern jazz composers, creator of “Watermelon man” (which has been a basic reference point throughout his career), “Maiden Voyage”, “Dolphin Dance”, right through to the dance grooves of “Rockit”. Hancock also has the distinction of having made the largest-selling jazz record of all time in “Head Hunters”.

Tracklisting:
A1 Doin' It 8:00
A2 People Music 7:07
A3 Cantelope Island 7:06
B1 Spider 7:20
B2 Gentle Thoughts 7:01
B3 Swamp Rat 6:25
B4 Sansho Shima 4:50

Personnel & Credits:
Producer – David Rubinson And Friends Inc., Herbie Hancock
Art Baldacci Vocals, Vocals (Background)
Phill Brown Mastering
Fred Catero Engineer
Ron Coro Art Direction
Fred Dobbs Vocals, Vocals (Background)
Mike Fusaro Engineer
James Gadson Drums, Vocals (Background)
Herbert Greene Photography
Herbie Hancock Arp, Arp Echoplex, Clavinet, Composer, Keyboards, Micro Moog, Moog Synthesizer, Piano, Piano (Electric), Producer, Synthesizer, Vocals
George Horn Mastering
Paul Jackson Bass, Composer
Don Kerr Vocals, Vocals (Background)
James Levi Drums
Chris Mancini Vocals, Vocals (Background)
Bennie Maupin Clarinet (Bass), Lyre, Lyricon, Sax (Soprano), Sax (Tenor), Saxello
Kenneth Nash Percussion
Ray Parker, Jr. Bass, Guitar, Vocals (Background)
Melvin "Wah Wah" Ragin Composer
David Rubinson Engineer, Producer
Julia Tillman Waters Vocals
Wah Wah Watson Associate Producer, Bass, Guitar, Sampling, Sequencing, Synthesizer, Voice Bag

Notes:
Format:Vinyl, LP
Country:US
Released:13 Aug 1976

secrets-back


''Spider''

Reviews:
By Richard S. Ginell (AMG):
Having long since established his funk credentials, Herbie Hancock continues the direction of Head Hunters and its U.S. successors here, welding himself to the groove on electric keyboards while Bennie Maupin again shines sardonic beams of light on a variety of reeds. In "Doin' It," the most successful track, Hancock makes a more overt bid for the dancefloor, for the tune is basically one long irresistible groove with a very commercial-sounding bridge. Again Hancock chooses to recompose one of his standards; "Cantelope Island" is almost unrecognizable converted into a sauntering, swaggering thing. A streamlining process has set in -- the drumming has been simplified, some of the old high-voltage drive has been muted -- yet there are still enough enjoyable, intelligently musical things happening here to hold a Hancock admirer's attention.

Secrets is a 1976 jazz-funk fusion album by keyboard player Herbie Hancock.
The album clearly followed from its predecessor Man-Child. As ever, Paul Jackson's basslines were critical, and the other regular member Bennie Maupin continued to provide most of the solos alongside Hancock. Man-Child had seen the addition of electric guitar to Hancock's sound, and Secrets saw the guitar's place in the arrangements rise to crucial importance throughout. The flamboyant rhythm guitar contributions of top Motown session musician Wah Wah Watson are a particularly notable feature of the album.
Where Man-Child was evenly divided between up-tempo and laid-back tracks, Secrets emphasised the more mellow, softly rounded mood. Even the more up-tempo tracks, "Doin' It" and "Cantaloupe Island", are suffused with a relaxed Caribbean influence, and overall the album tends towards restrained, rolling grooves rather than overtly high-energy funk. Appropriately, Hancock spent much of his time using the mellow tones of the Rhodes piano, and took advantage of the new polyphonic synthesizers to contribute thick pads, foreshadowing ambient music.
Although summery and mellow, the album was far from lounge music, with some extremely abstract and intense sections, particular in the latter half; it is also entirely instrumental beside the "Jus' keep on doin' it" chants of the opening track. Subsequent Hancock albums saw the addition of more vocoded lead vocals and disco influences.
The Secrets line-up performed "Spider" (from this LP) and "Hang Up Your Hang-Ups" (from Man-Child) at the V.S.O.P. concert in the summer of 1976.
From Wikipedia

secrets-label-A1


Secrets is Herbie Hancock's fourth album since Head Hunters, whose huge crossover sales in 1973 preceded similar successes by musicians like Grover Washington Jr. and George Benson. And though complaints have cropped up ad nauseam, saying that Hancock's electric funk sold out as well as broke out, the fact remains that his instrumentals have been the most sophisticated and original in a genre they virtually created. Endless imitations provide the evidence.
But after all those imitations, Hancock's music is not nearly so new. And he compounds the problem by trying to find another hit of the same magnitude as "Chameleon," the song that made Head Hunters a monster seller. Though Secrets is attractive, it's doubtful that any of its tracks will become hit singles, and Hancock may have painted himself into a corner.
Still, Secrets is something of a departure for Hancock. A major difference is band personnel, the key being the addition of Wah Wah Watson (aka Melvin Ragin). Watson's guitar and vocals have altered the sound of the band, while his production assistance and songwriting (he cowrote five of the seven tracks) have altered the content. Wah Wah's presence tends to zip Herbie into a formulaic straightjacket.
The immediate example is the album's opener, the disco-ish "Doin' It," which for two minutes is an absolute killer, but then boringly repeats itself for another six minutes. The rest of the first side fares only slightly better; "People Music" is intriguing, but explores the same dreamy terrain Hancock described in older songs such as "Butterfly."
Side two is far better, its four tracks building as one entity through neat (but not too cute) segues to a galvanic finish where Herbie adds to his solo, with characteristic humor and imagination, quotes from "Wade in the Water" and "A Love Supreme."
Overall, Secrets is too limited a representation of Hancock's musicality. And there is no acoustic piano; for that, you have to hear Herbie's brilliant soloing on Jaco Pastorius (the solo album by Weather Report's new bass guitarist) or The Jewel in the Lotus, by Herbie's one-man horn section, Bennie Maupin.
By Conrad Silvert (Rolling Stone)

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''People Music''

On Line:
AMG
Discogs
Rolling Stone
Wikipedia
Amazon
Herbie Hancock Discography

Original post: 30/04/2008

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3 comments:

LYSERGICFUNK said...

Ottimo Post...come sempre del resto

MFS Equipe ♪ said...

è un classico.

MFS Equipe ♪ said...

Grazie Guido!