There will be no drummer driving a beat at Orchestra Hall Friday night; no bass adding depth or trumpet adding color. For an hour-and-a-half, the stage will be occupied by just one man: Herbie Hancock.
Hancock is a god among jazz musicians. His resume compares to none: pianist, bandleader, composer; father of the modern-day jazz rhythm section; pioneer of the synthesizer; funk musician before funk was a genre; genius improviser; master mixer. And on Friday night, Hancock will add to that list as he reinforces and redefines what it takes to be a solo jazz pianist.
The role is not necessary new to him—some 30 years ago he did a short solo tour in Europe with just an acoustic piano. But Friday night’s performance is different. Friday night Hancock will attempt to encapsulate his wildly versatile career into a single set of songs performed only by him. It may seem like a long shot, but he’s brining a few new tricks to the table, namely computer-assisted instruments and other electronics, such as a looper. According to Hancock, this will give certain songs an “orchestral feel.”
But regardless of the number of toys and gadgets accompanying him on stage, Herbie Hancock will ultimately be on his own, pitted against his extensive career and challenged with portraying to a rapt audience just how talented he really is. Our bet: he’ll blow them away.
An Evening with Herbie Hancock: Solo Piano
Friday, October 28
Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-371-5656