When I was a teenager, Herbie Hancock was the old guy who made a mediocre song with his synthesizer that won tons of awards ("Rockit"). At the time I was confused by all the fuss. A few years later I was similarly confused when George Harrison won tons of awards for his mediocre album in 1989.
In October of 1993, I wandered into a Silver Platters in Issaquah and got into a conversation with the guy at the counter. I told him I was searching for something new but I didn't know what. I yearned for something with more depth and meaning than much of the crap I was listening to. He handed me a CD called "The Gentle Side of John Coltrane". So began my love for jazz.
For years and years I resisted Miles Davis, maybe because everybody connected with jazz talked about how great he was. But finally a few years ago I finally "got it" when it came to Miles Davis. I began listening to him more and more. Last year while vacationing in Arizona I read Miles' autobiography. In it I learned that in his "Second Great Quintet", his pianist was Herbie Hancock. I thought, ohhh that's interesting. Not just some old guy on a synthesizer.
Over the past six months I heard bits and pieces about Herbie and finally I stumbled upon his autobiography. I thought I'd give it a go. Might be interesting, plus he'll talk about the Miles Davis years.
Well not only has he told great stories from those days in the mid 1960s, but he's just fascinating unto himself. A great spirit is in this guy.
One of my favorite stories from the book... People who know Miles' personality will appreciate this.
Miles Davis always had a rule that members of his band COULD NOT bring their wives/girlfriends to the gigs. He thought they would show off for their women and diminish the music.
Herbie met a German woman named Gigi. He was crazy about her. She wanted to come to the show. Finally, Herbie said okay, "but you need to hide in the back of the room, or Miles is going to be upset."
The group goes on stage and starts their set. They get a couple songs in, and then Miles put it on pause. He walked over to the keyboard where Herbie was seated. In his famous raspy voice, Miles asked "Where is she?"
Herbie said, "Where is who?"
Miles: Don't BS me. Where is she?"
Herbie: You talking about Gigi? She's not here Miles.
Miles: Bullshit. Where is she?
Herbie: Uhh... how did you know?
Miles: There's too much sugar in your music.