Herbie Hancock - by which I mean 2007 Herbie Hancock, of course - is pretty much off my radar. Normally, I wouldn't really even pay attention to something like his new Joni Mitchell album (as an aside, does anyone believe that Hancock came up with the idea himself, that "Hancock sought out Larry Klein, Joni’s ex and the producer of nearly half of Mitchell’s catalogue," as the New York magazine article states?). I mean, I don't even know Joni Mitchell at all. But About Jazz has posted links to two of its songs and I may have to rethink everything.
The unaccompanied piano intro to "Court And Spark" sets the chiaroscuro mood, the soprano solo (Wayne Shorter, most likely) and Hancock's comping adventuroursly edge into uncertain territory. The spaces they have are tightly circumscribed, yet accommodate vast thought. Can the whole album be this good?
Oh, and Norah Jones sings with a pleasantly roughened grain, but is so far out of her league, everything around her becomes a kind of negative space.