Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Herbie Hancock: The Imagine Project

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

Herbie Hancock started performing feats of music magic soon after he joined the Miles Davis Quintet in 1963. On parts of his conceptually ambitious but uneven new release, The Imagine Project, this genre-leaping keyboard icon and composer goes a step further by achieving a near disappearing act in the midst of his own album.

This partially demonstrates his desire to serve the songs at hand. But it also underscores the fact that 64 other musicians perform on this 10-song album, 15 of them on the opening selection alone (which was recorded in eight studios in three countries and required the services of 10 audio engineers). And given the boomer-friendly origins of many of these songs-think Bob Dylan, the Beatles and Sam Cooke-and the steady stream of pop-star cameos (which include Pink, John Legend and India.Arie), Hancock’s willingness to downplay his role may disappoint longtime fans.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published