## Herbie Hancock (and Zakir Hussain), Santiago 2013

From: andrew cooke <andrew@...>

Date: Thu, 15 Aug 2013 11:45:40 -0400

[Edited to fix typo in title; sorry]

Last night we went to see Herbie Hancock, whose 2013 tour includes S America.
It was pretty damn good.

As you might imagine, given Hancock's age and history, this was something of a
retrospective - they played (or at least quoted) music from throughout his
career.  But it also appeared to be almost all improvised (to some extent) -
fresh and energetic.

Depending on your taste, I guess some parts will appeal more than others.  For
me, Rockit on an Ax-Synth more than makes up for his Vocoder singing elsewhere
:o)  But if there was a general sound to the evening, it was a hard-rocking
rhythm section with piano vamp.  And who can complain about that?

Best surprise (because I hadn't read the publicity I guess) of the evening was
that Zakir Hussain played tablas!  Wow.  And he had a long solo, which in
included a (short, but amusing) call and response with someone in the
audience.

Hancock's solo piano was also worth mentioning.  A beautiful change of pace in
the middle of the evening.  Wish I had a set list.

The rest of the quartet was Vinnie Colaiuta on drums (who the crowd loved) and
James Genus on bass.  I found it frustratingly hard to hear Genus - maybe his
tone had too little edge, or he was just too far down in the mix.  Perhaps
they were trying to make room for the tablas?  I guess the piano left hand and
tablas leave little room for bass?  Anyway, it was a pity I couldn't hear
more.  Colaiuta was workman-like - mostly a bit too "powerful" for my taste,
but he was glorious on Seventeen (I gave up trying to count and just
listened!)

The location (Caupolican) was great - big enough for a crowd, but small enough
to be intimate.  But either I am going mad, or the balance on the sound system
was way off.  Everything seemed to come from the left, which is very annoying
when the tabla solo is to the right of the stage...

Anyway, great evening.  Smiling writing this, and worried that I have used too
many superlatives, but unable to cut any.

Andrew

PS I mentioned Marc Myers's "Why Jazz Happened" here before.  His chapter on
the effect of rock on jazz really helps understand Hancock's musical
progression.  IMHO.