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A Huge Hunk o’ Herbie

SiriusXM radio devotes a weekend to Hancock’s career in jazz

Herbie Hancock

SiriusXM satellite radio recently completed its four-day Herbie Hancock Radio special. It was a success. Beginning the morning of Friday, April 27, the network turned over its Real Jazz station to playing nothing but Herbie Hancock recordings. Hancock as group leader, as a sideman, with ensembles and solo-he was heard on famous recordings and on near-forgotten tracks, on electric keyboards and on the concert grand. The special was inspirational for its range of recordings and for the stunningly high level of musicianship heard throughout the weekend.

From the introductory announcement, it was clear that the Real Jazz station programmers would have their work cut out for them. A fluid voice called Hancock a “pure jazz artist” who is “also a bona fide rock star.” Is that possible? And could a traditional jazz radio format really do justice to the many parts of Hancock’s career? Short answer: Yes.

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