|Philly is essentially the sixth borough at this rate.....|
|Getting around in Portland is easy.....|
|The great Herbie Hancock|
|Paul Whiteman: "King Of Jazz, or Oliver Hardy's double?"|
|Could Brendal sit in with Miles?|
I know Hancock's playing very well, but I was also struck by the fact that if I wasn't aware that Hancock was playing, there's no way I could have guessed that it was Hancock. Hancock isn't "jazzing" it up at all, he's basically playing it like Gershwin wrote it, although there was one point in the rehearsal where a percussive phrase was followed by a space, where Herbie almost seemed to muse, "wow, this feels like a jazz gig!" To be sure, "Rhapsody in Blue" falls into the category of "jazz influenced concert music." It's not jazz, at least in my humble view. Hancock has done so many different things in his career, that in some ways, this is no surprise. As identifiable as Hancock's piano improvisation is, his influences and tastes run the gamut. Hancock is the kind of musician who makes me believe that one day we will have no genres and no boundaries. There won't be a "classical" department or a "jazz"department. Music will just be music, good or bad.
Hancock and the Oregon Symphony did a satisfying run through, and then went back through the score and touched on some spots. Then they looked at "Sonrisa", a melody which was reworked into a tune called "Trust Me." on the album "Feets Don't Fail Me Now". Here's what I believe is the original, from a great solo piano record that Hancock did in Japan:
And here's the way he re-used it:
The Oregon Symphony was essentially sight-reading an orchestration of this piece, which probably sounded great on the computer during it's conception, but the orchestra had some trouble with the "modern" syncopation. After a second run through, the "groove" smoothed out a bit. I couldn't help but think that it was weird that the percussion section was on the opposite end of the stage from the basses and low brass.( This would never happen in a jazz band; can you imagine Ron Carter being on the opposite side of the stage from Tony Williams?)Still, I'm looking forward to hearing the Symphony in concert; they seem like a fine orchestra and I'll have more to report after tonight's concert.