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Takin' Off was pianist Herbie Hancock's (born in
Chicago on April 12, 1940; he is 79 at this writing) first
album under his own name. All of the compositions
are by the leader, who is backed by such stars as
Dexter Gordon, Freddie Hubbard, Butch Warren, and
Billy Higgins. The album includes one of Hancock's
best-known compositions, "Watermelon Man", which
made it to the Top 100 on the pop charts. The tune
would become a jazz standard, after being covered
by Mongo Santamaria, among others. Initially, Blue
Note producer Alfred Lion had told Hancock that his
first studio session as a leader should combine a
selection of original compositions and well-known
jazz standards. However, after hearing the potential
of "Watermelon Man", the producer urged the pianist
to complete the LP with his original tunes. Takin' Off
caught the attention of Miles Davis. Hancock was
introduced to Davis by the young drummer Tony
Williams. As part of Miles Davis's Second Great
Quintet, Hancock would help to redefine the role of
a jazz rhythm section and was one of the primary
architects of the post-bop sound. He was one of the
first jazz musicians to embrace synthesizers and
incorporate the funk genre into jazz.
FREDDIE HUBBARD, trumpet
DEXTER GORDON, tenor sax
HERBIE HANCOCK, piano
BUTCH WARREN, bass
BILLY HIGGINS, drums
Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, May 28, 1962.
Original session recorded by Rudy Van Gelder
& produced by Alfred Lion.
FREDDIE HUBBARD, trumpet; JAMES SPAULDING, alto sax (on A4)
& flute (on B4); HERBIE HANCOCK, piano; REGGIE WORKMAN, bass;
CLIFFORD JARVIS, drums. Hackensack, New Jersey, October 10, 1962.
Original session recorded by Rudy Van Gelder and produced by Alfred Lion.
From Freddie Hubbard's LP Hub-Tones (Blue Note BST841115).