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Hancock and Shorter: Two Divided by One

Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter
Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter

As the official story goes, 1 + 1, the first duet album from Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter had its origin last December, when they went to Washington. The Thelonious Monk Institute was having a gala presentation at the Kennedy Center, much of it winding up in the global village on an ABC prime time special. For the untelevised portion of the program, Hancock and Shorter were on hand to perform a winning tune in the composition competition, being Michiel Borstlap’s obliquely lyrical “Memory of Enchantment.”

Hancock recalls, “Wayne and I played it and it really came off well. When we came off the stage, Pat Metheny said to me, ‘man, you two should do an album together. It would be killer. People would love to hear that. I’d be first in line to buy it.’ I said ‘you know what? That’s a good idea.’ I mentioned it to Wayne and he loved the idea. My manager loved and the record company loved it-we’re with the same record company, Verve. So, now, here we are.” By the end of March, the recording was done. End of story.

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