Herbie Hancock's Maiden Voyage

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  • Topic: Jazz, Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard
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Maiden Voyage Listening Assignment

Tune: Maiden Voyage

Herbie Hancock – Piano
Ron Carter – Bass
Tony Williams – Drums
Freddie Hubbard – Trumpet
George Coleman – Tenor Saxophone

This tune, as well as the rest of the album, was recorded in 1965 under the Blue Note Label. It is a 32-bar AABA form. The changes are composed of 4 different m7sus chords, which creates a very open sound. The recording that I have is 7 minutes and 57 seconds in length.

The tune starts out with the rhythm section playing the first 8 bars of the tune, which is an ostinato on a syncopated 1 to 5 bass line. Then the horns come in with the melody in unison. Then is goes into the Tenor solo. George begins playing a lot of lines composed of fourths with very little feeling of time. Then he starts to move into more running lines. He ends his solo somewhat abruptly after one chorus, which moves into the trumpet solo.

Freddie starts out playing very free feeling. He doesn’t play much more than 3 or 4 notes in his first 8 bars. Then he holds out a note which carries him into the B section. Even through this section, he doesn’t play a whole lot more than 5 notes. He continues this simple style of playing until the next chorus. At the start of the next chorus, Freddie begins to play a little more aggressively. Here, he adds faster, syncopated lines. Then he plays a lot more running lines. For about 8 bars straight, he is just playing a flurry of ascending and descending notes that carries him through the B section. Freddie also seemed to end his solo abruptly. Next is the piano solo.

Herbie starts his solo with gently moving lines with accompanying harmony of 2nds and 3rds. Halfway through the B section, he starts to do running lines. He continues this for approximately another 16 bars. Then he starts to do somewhat of a “comping” solo. While still playing a couple lines with his right hand, his most dominant melodic figure is, ironically, his rhythmic comping in...
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