One For The Road
Bands Ahoy

Herbie Hancock's Imagine Project @ Tanglewood

DSC06654On my last night at Tanglewood, I caught an amazing two hour set by jazz legend Herbie Hancock and his band, playing to a capacity crowd in Ozawa Hall that overflowed onto the manicured lawn. Hancock performed selections from his latest album, The Imagine Project, which re-imagines tracks like John Lennon's "Imagine" and Dylan's "The Times They Are A Changin" in order to communicate a common message of peace and global responsibility. Herbie jammed on everything from keyboard to keytar, while the rest of his group (Vinnie Colaiuta - drums, James Genus - bass, Lionel Loueke - guitar, Greg Phillinganes - keyboards, Kristina Train - vocals and fiddle) used a mix of electronic and acoustic instruments to conjure a sound that evoked the big band sounds of old.

But, the finest moments of the evening were when Herbie had the stage to himself. An extended solo on a Fazioli concert grand (which Herbie brought with him) had all the grace and serenity of a Chopin polonaise; his keyboard jams were as blazing as Mozart's. Anyone who would claim this guy isn't as much of a virtuoso as the violinists and pianists who usually occupy these stages simply wasn't paying attention.

More pics on Flickr.