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Blue Note continues to celebrate reaching the ripe old age of seventy-five with one of Herbie Hancock's lesser celebrated classics, Empyrean Isles. Originally released in 1964, the record focuses on his hard bop specialities, especially with the innovative and half-improvised "One Finger Snap".


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  • 4708562
  • 4708562 / Reissue LP on Blue Note

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Empyrean Isles by Herbie Hancock
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8/10 Jack Customer review, 17th February 2015

Herbie's approach to this recording was quite a musical challenge, but his sidemen were more than up to the task. The rhythm section is solid throughout, giving him and Freddie Hubbard plenty of breathing room to paint in the song structures with a wide variety of bright colours. I can't recommend any one Hancock album as the essential one, given the different phases his career has taken, but if you just like the quality jazz Blue Note is known for, it's hard to find much (if any) fault with the later Maiden Voyage or this more overlooked gem, Empyrean Isles.


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