177: “Galaxy” by Eddie Henderson

A flugel without a cause.When you really wanna get funky, you gots to gets some flugelhorn.

Eddie Henderson played with Herbie Hancock’s Mwandishi band for 3 years in the early 70’s, and you can sure hear that influence in this song and Eddie’s entire 1975 album, Sunburst.

Related topic… Everything is related… If you’re standing in just the right light, here’s a poem that can knock you on your ass:

Moment of Inertia
by Debra Spencer, from Pomegranate.
© Hummingbird Press.

It’s what makes the pancake hold still
while you slip the spatula under it
so fast it doesn’t move, my father said
standing by the stove.
All motion stopped when he died.
With his last breath the earth
lurched to a halt and hung still on its axis,
the atoms in the air
coming to rest within their molecules,
and in that moment
something slid beneath me
so fast I couldn’t move.

Song: Galaxy
Artist: Eddie Henderson
Album: Sunburst
Label: Blue Note
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes

92: “Panepha” by Method of Defiance

Bill Laswell fully endorses grannies listening to his music.Bassist Bill Laswell teamed up with Herbie Hancock and Paradox in 2007 to crank out this intense, highly accomplished, driving funk, revolving around the drum ‘n bass loops that Paradox lays down.  Method of Defiance is the name they chose to call the amalgam of electronic and instrumental musicians.  But it’s not for the faint of heart or for little, old ladies.

So check your granny at the door, or ear muff her.  Then saddle up.  And enjoy.

Song: Panepha
Artist: Method of Defiance
Album: Inamorata
Label: Ohm Resistance
Buy from: Amazon

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