Throughout his career, Herbie Hancock has refused to be confined to one musical category or situation, making a name for himself on both acoustic piano and electric keyboards, and in idioms ranging from hard-bop, soul-jazz and fusion to funk, pop and world music. Born in Chicago in 1940, Hancock began playing piano when he was seven and was considered a bit of a prodigy, performing the first movement of a Mozart piano concerto in public when he was 11. After college, he joined the Donald Byrd-Pepper Adams Quintet in 1961. Signed to Blue Note, Hancock immediately had a hit when he introduced “Watermelon Man.” After recording with Sonny Rollins, in 1963 he became a key member of the Miles Davis Quintet, staying five years as Davis’ music evolved from hard-bop to avant-garde jazz and fusion. In his own Blue Note albums, Hancock introduced “Cantaloupe Island,” “Speak Like a Child” and “Maiden Voyage.”
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