Herbie Hancock had covered a lot of musical ground in the last 45 years, moving in and out of jazz and pop, influencing electronic music in his own way, and also become a part of hip-hop’s legacy. Now, as he enters his 70th year in life, he will be releasing an album that has been years in the making, a concept that brings him together with many artists around to world to celebrate music and life. He calls this The Imagine Project, scheduled for release on June 22, 2010 via Hancock Records/RED.
You’ll no doubt hear about these songs for the next three months, so let me just post a partial list of the people who are collaborating with on this album:
For this album, Hancock recorded and collaborated in Mumbai, India; São Paulo. Brazil; London, Miami, and Ireland. He could have easily collaborated via e-mail, transferring digital files back and forth, but the chemistry that is an important part of Hancock’s music would not be there, so everyone was able to see each other face to face and perform.
The album will be promoted in a number of ways, including a documentary film, and a concert tour. In time, all will be revealed in the months ahead.
Normally I don’t start a review off with the word “I”, so I’m not. Instead, it will start the second sentence.
I last heard of Silveroot last year with a great album called Full Measure, and arguably the world was very different in the spring of 2008. A lot has changed since then, but then again maybe they haven’t, at least within the United States. I state this because while they celebrate the best of Americana and what it means to live in this country, it’s more of an album about the human condition and what we must do with and amongst each other in order to survive in peace. This is one of the underlying themes on Big Difference (Silverado), as the group continue with their well-executed mix of country, bluegrass, rock, pop, and on this album a number of worldly influences, most notable in teh final song “Last Night In Marrakech”, which sounds like a cross between Led Zeppelin, Loggins & Messina, and something you’d hear on a Folkways album. The smell of good food can be imagined in “Home Cookin'”, where Flynn imagines the delicious goodies found in New Orleans while creating a song that is reminiscent of The Band.
Most of the vibe on the album is down home music, but as the old saying goes, “wherever you lay your hat, that’s home”. It looks inward, but in “Brazil” there’s a slight tropicalia feel where vocalist Patrick Flynn and violinist Emily Palen unite in a celebration of the sunlight in Rio. The way the song is put together, it might help cross them over into a much bigger audience, sounds like a song that could be covered by The Dave Matthews Band or even Clara Hill.
Exploration is a key element here, or at least Flynn and friends are being motivated to open the door to their musical world to see what else lurks down the road, and Big Difference is indeed just that. A very strong statement.