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You'll Know When You Get There: Herbie Hancock and the Mwandishi Bandby Bob Gluck
Synopses & Reviews
As the 1960s ended, Herbie Hancock embarked on a grand creative experiment. Having just been dismissed from the celebrated Miles Davis Quintet, he set out on the road, playing with his first touring group as a leader until he eventually formed what would become a revolutionary band. Taking the Swahili name Mwandishi, the group would go on to play some of the most innovative music of the 1970s, fusing an assortment of musical genres, American and African cultures, and acoustic and electronic sounds into groundbreaking experiments that helped shape the American popular music that followed. In Youll Know When You Get There, Bob Gluck offers the first comprehensive study of this influential group, mapping the musical, technological, political, and cultural changes that they not only lived in but also effected.
Beginning with Hancocks formative years as a sideman in bebop and hard bop ensembles, his work with Miles Davis, and the early recordings under his own name, Gluck uncovers the many ingredients that would come to form the Mwandishi sound. He offers an extensive series of interviews with Hancock and other band members, the producer and engineer who worked with them, and a catalog of well-known musicians who were profoundly influenced by the group. Paying close attention to the Mwandishi bands repertoire, he analyzes a wide array of recordings—many little known—and examines the groups instrumentation, their pioneering use of electronics, and their transformation of the studio into a compositional tool.
From protofunk rhythms to synthesizers to the reclamation of African identities, Gluck tells the story of a highly peculiar and thrillingly unpredictable band that became a hallmark of American genius.
Bob Glucks You'll Know When You Get There is an in-depth exploration into the creative work of pianist Herbie Hancock from 1969-1973. These were the pivotal years of the Herbie Hancock Sextet, Hancocks first touring band, which in 1971 became informally known as the "Mwandishi" band. This book offers a window into the evolution of the musical elements that coalesced during Hancock's career as a young sideman during the 1960s and pointed towards Hancock's mature approach with the Mwandishi band. In particular, Gluck explores how this forward-looking young musician developed the stylistic, aesthetic, and cultural ingredients that together represented the underlying musical values of his new endeavor, with special attention given to Hancocks technological experimentation. Relying on extensive interview material and original musical description and analysis by the author, You'll Know When You Get There traces the development of this highly unusual and rarely predictable band, contextualizes the band and its music within contemporaneous musical, cultural, and political events and trends, and considers how and why it came to an end.
About the Author
Bob Gluck is associate professor of music, a jazz historian, and director of the Electronic Music Studio at the State University of New York, Albany.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. A Defining Moment: November 1970
Chapter 2. Becoming Herbie Hancock
Chapter 3. The First Sextet
Chapter 4. New Musical Directions
Chapter 5. Moving toward Mwandishi
Chapter 6. Mwandishi: The Recording
Chapter 7. Crossings
Chapter 8. Quadraphonic Sound System: Patrick Gleeson on Tour and Sextant
Chapter 9. Musical Collectivity and Open Forms
Chapter 10. Life on the Road, 1971-73, and the Critical Response
Chapter 11. Endings and Unexpected Recordings
Epilogue. Reminiscences and Legacy
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Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Jazz