1551 Trap Road Vienna
Perhaps the most lionized living pianist, Herbie Hancock has helped to shape many of jazz’s machinations in the past 50 years. By his early 20s, Hancock was recording definitive hard-bop albums for Blue Note Records; soon after, he was a sideman in Miles Davis’ second great quintet, which exploded the rhythmic and harmonic barriers of mainstream jazz. By the 1970s, Hancock was on the forefront of jazz-funk fusion, and he created one of the most successful albums that the genre would ever know: Head Hunters. The list of his achievements runs on and on. The best way to experience the Grammy-decorated legend is to sit in the audience and let his music wash over you, live and in the flesh. He performs with his current band; he’s on piano, Fender Rhodes, and keytar, Lionel Loueke on guitar, James Genus on bass, Trevor Lawrence Jr. on drums and L.A. jazz apostle Terrace Martin on keyboards, vocoder and alto sax.
He shares a double-headlining bill with Kamasi Washington, perhaps the most talked-about jazz musician on the planet since the release of his album The Epic four years ago. While that title is up for debate (the artist himself deflects it) what is not debatable is the persuasiveness and conviction of his Alice Coltrane and Horace Tapscott-indebted tunes. Referencing sources as varied as Stravinsky and ’80s video-game music, Washington’s music aims both at the head and the heart of the jazz listener, a nervous system experience of funky uplifting.
They may even share the stage.