Genre: Jazz
Label: Blue Note
Size: 12"
Format: 33RPM,


Herbie Hancock Takin' Off 180g LP

Herbie Hancock

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TAS Rated 5/5 Music, 5/5 Sonics in the October 2019 Issue of The Absolute Sound!

Blue Note 80 Vinyl Reissue Series!
Debut Album Reissued On 180g Vinyl LP!

Blue Note 80 Vinyl Reissue Series!
In honor of Blue Note Records’ 80th Anniversary, the legendary Jazz label is launching the Blue Note 80 Vinyl Reissue Series. Distinct from the Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series, this 2nd series curated by Don Was and Cem Kurosman features mid-priced 180g vinyl releases in standard packaging with albums spanning the many eras of the label’s history presented by themes: Blue Note Debuts, Blue Grooves, Great Reid Miles Covers, Blue Note Live, and Blue Note Drummer Leaders.

On his debut album Takin’ Off—recorded and released in 1962—jazz legend Herbie Hancock arrived fully formed at the helm of an impressive quintet with trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon, bassist Butch Warren, and drummer Billy Higgins. Though rooted firmly in hard bop, the brilliant pianist and composer presented his own strikingly original voice on this 6-song album consisting entirely of his own compositions from the "Watermelon Man" to the timeless ballad "Alone and I".

"Blue Note Records continues the label's 80th birthday celebration with a new trio of vinyl reissues, with this latest batch including two of the crown jewels in their vast discography and a more recent gem from a future superstar. In the case of 1962's Takin' Off, this was pianist Herbie Hancock's debut album as a bandleader after establishing himself in sessions with Donald Byrd and onstage with Al Grey. And he sets the tone immediately by recording a full set of originals and by pulling one of the sharpest ensembles on the scene at that time, including saxophonist Dexter Gordon and trumpeter Freddie Hubbard. It's a bop album with a bluesy sense of cool and a playfulness that can only come from young people making a joyful noise together." - Paste Magazine

"...What better way to dive into this stellar series (Blue Note 80) than with Herbie Hancock's riveting 1962 debut, Takin' Off, which took full advantage of the high-ceilinged confines of Van Gelder Studios. Hancock shares his intuitive grasp of hard bop with impeccable comps and vamps on the gospel/blues-tinged opening cut, "Watermelon Man." Another key to this perennial jazz standard's coolly seductive groove can be found via drummer Billy Higgins' avoidance of deploying the backbeat, an instinctual tempo choice likely due to his Caribbean heritage. "Three Bags Full" finds keen waltzing interplay between Hancock's ivory attack, Freddie Hubbard's soaring trumpet, and Dexter Gordon's ever-urbane tenor sax lines. Meanwhile, the closing track, "Alone and I," Hancock's affecting piano-ballad masterclass in A, foreshadows a myriad of creative directions to come. Takin' Off is most decidedly worth takin' on." - Mike Mettler, The Absolute Sound, October 2019

• Blue Note 80 Vinyl Reissue Series
• 180g Vinyl
• LP mastering by Kevin Gray, Cohearent Mastering
• Made in Germany
• Pressed at Optimal

Freddie Hubbard, trumpet
Dexter Gordon, tenor saxophone
Herbie Hancock, piano
Butch Warren, bass
Billy Higgins, drums

Side A:

1. Watermelon Man
2. Three Bags Full
3. Empty Pockets
Side B:
1. The Maze
2. Driftin'
3. Alone And I

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