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Takin Off
CD 
Price: $13.31
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Takin Off on CD

In some respects Herbie Hancock's first recording as a leader typifies the hard-bop/funk of many late-'50s/early-'60s Blue Note productions (notably Horace Silver's tight-knit group). At the same time, Hancock's lyrical bent and pliable point toward the greater abstraction and open-ended, chamber dimensions to come. Blue Note's splendid remastering brings the underrated bassist Butch Warren's bedrock sonority into focus, while Dexter Gordon's laconic virility meshes surprisingly well with the pianist's quicksilver palette. And for those who want to hear the original, unadulterated version of Hancock's earliest signature composition "Watermelon Man," look no further. The disc is rounded out by additional, previously unissued alternate takes.

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