Herbie Hancock (US jazz pianist, keyboardist, bandleader and composer)
Herbert Jeffrey Hancock, born in Chicago, IL, USA, is without doubt the most well known, controversial and influential of all jazz pianists.
Soon noticed by and involved with Miles Davis, Mr Hancock almost stormed the hardbop Blue Note 60's with a number of legendary sessions, from his (nearly) first record Takin' Off, to The Prisoner.
Recording with the new Mile's cats, he then took an important turn (around the time of Head Hunters), experimenting and mixing genres, thus drifting from his previous fan base expectations.
While the hardbop's crowd thought he was completely lost for the cause, he then took a radical U-turn, with the all-stars-all-jazz V.S.O.P.
He has since recorded and experimented in a lot of directions, exploring "sound textures" and touring with various bands.
Certainly a very complex personality, with an extensive discography.
Herbert Jeffrey "Herbie" Hancock (born April 12, 1940) is an American pianist, keyboardist, bandleader and composer. Starting his career with Donald Byrd, he shortly thereafter joined the Miles Davis Quintet where Hancock helped 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 funk music (characterized by syncopated drum beats). Hancock's music is often melodic and accessible; he has had many songs "cross over" and achieved success among pop audiences. His music embraces elements of funk and soul while adopting freer stylistic elements from jazz. In his jazz improvisation, he possesses a unique creative blend of jazz, blues, and modern classical music, with harmonic stylings much like the styles of Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel.
Hancock's best-known solo works include "Cantaloupe Island", "Watermelon Man" (later performed by dozens of musicians, including bandleader Mongo Santamaría), "Maiden Voyage", "Chameleon", and the singles "I Thought It Was You" and "Rockit". His 2007 tribute album River: The Joni Letters won the 2008 Grammy Award for Album of the Year, only the second jazz album ever to win the award, after Getz/Gilberto in 1965.
Hancock practices Nichiren Buddhism and is a member of the Buddhist association Sōka Gakkai International. As part of Hancock's spiritual practice, he recites the Buddhist chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo each day. In 2013, Hancock's dialogue with Wayne Shorter and Daisaku Ikeda on jazz, Buddhism and life was published in Japanese.