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34: “Wiggle Waggle” by Herbie Hancock

Trying to look cool in the 80's was a curse on your future self.I first heard the music of Herbie Hancock when he was on the pop charts in the 80’s with “Rock It,” one of the few instrumental songs ever to make it anywhere near the top of the charts, and one of the first pieces of electronic music many folks had ever heard.  Nevermind the fact that Herbie had played with Miles Davis and had already had a successful, decades-long career as a jazz keyboardist.  To me, he was the wizard behind this wild new sound.  Check out the crazy 80’s-style, low-budget psychedelic video (2nd one below).

I was amazed as a teenager to discover Herbie’s past, and in particular, Mwandishi: The Complete Warner Bros. Recordings, a compilation of sessions that became Mwandishi (1970).  I heard the re-release when I was 19, and that album has become one of the keystones of my music collection.

“Mwandishi” was a Swahili name Herbie gave himself in the 60’s.  Each member of the sextet behind the album had a Swahili name.

Headhunters (1973) is perhaps Herbie’s best known album, which has one of the thickest, funkiest organ grooves ever to grace a song on “Chameleon,” but I’ve worn it out over the years and it doesn’t hold up as well as the Mwandishi recordings for repeated listening.  It’s a large band on the Mwandishi recordings, and a full sound.  Horns, tambourines, and tight jams around every corner… with some wide open (and weird) spaces in between.

Check out “Wiggle Waggle” at your convenience.  Buy the whole album if this doesn’t quench your thirst.  Enjoy.

Song: Wiggle Waggle
Artist: Herbie Hancock
Album: Mwandishi: The Complete Warner Bros. Recordings
Label: Warner Bros.
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: YouTube

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About Uncle Funk
I find songs for you.

2 Responses to 34: “Wiggle Waggle” by Herbie Hancock

  1. benito says:

    Dearest Uncle,

    I’m not sure why you never chose to share this with me in college, but I will forgive you for bringing it to my attention 15 years later.

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