For my money, I would recommend his ‘Sunlight’ album from that period as a good summary - it has progressed into a smoother jazz-influenced funk sound from the more overtly funk influenced albums from the earlier part of the 70s like ‘Headhunters’ (the definitive Herbie funk album, ‘Chameleon’ being the most famous cut) and ‘Man-Child’, both of which are incredible
He really is incredible - and versatile. Yes, I’m a big fan of that voicing too - it sounds great being resolved to as a tonic minor. ‘Mr Hands’ is such a great album for range: ‘Shiftless Shuffle’ is such a classic it even has a jazz dance club night named after it - which is something to behold!
Awesome thanks James, that’s a really useful reference.
It’s the smoother, jazzier side of Herbie’s work that I have resonated with. From the sounds of it his “Sunlight” album will be right up my street
I look forward to bringing funk tutors onto PianoGorove, and also exploring more funk myself!
I’ll get in touch with you about expanding the funk side of PianoGroove… It would be great to get your view on the direction and content of funk tutorials.
Another video I enjoy watching is Herbie explaining how he composed Watermelon Man:
That would be awesome Hayden - it would be great to see some funk in the tutorials. What a great video of Herbie - I gave myself his Masterclass series for a Christmas present but not really got round to it so far!
I agree… leave it with me.
Yes I saw that Masterclass advertised and it looked interesting. Let us know what you think once you’ve had time to check it out properly.
A nice smooth jazz tune with a great improv section. Been checking this one out on iReal Player:
Ditto! Love that song
Yes, I love this too…would be a great addition to our course! Now I’m craving chocolate!
Love those high notes!
Yes it’s a wonderful performance Christy!
I’d like to find someone with a similar sound to teach on PianoGroove… very slow and soulful blues. Leave it with me
As always, listening and transcribing from these kind of recordings would be the best way to absorb the style. However, someone who specialises in this kind of sound could certainly give additional insight and direction for students.
I’ll repost the original here as it took me a while to find it again way up in the thread:
That was fantastic. Inspires a bit, doesn’t it?
Wow great playing Yves. The audio quality is fantastic too!
In the PianoGroove lesson on Autumn Leaves, we cover the internal voice movement over the G-7 at 0:29 in this video - he moves the 5th up a half step in the middle of the chord, then again to the 6th, and back down to the 5th. That’s a nice trick to do over any major or minor chord when you have space in the harmony of melody.
Lots to be learnt from this video!
Yes his story is truly remarkable Adam.
He was born with osteogenesis imperfecta, a genetic disease that causes brittle bones and, in his case, short stature. Despite this, he became one of the most accomplished jazz pianists of his generation.
I read that he would sometimes dislocate the bones in his joints a performance which is crazy how he can still perform so well under these circumstances!
You can find a number of interviews of him on YouTube, and despite his condition, he’s always very cheery, upbeat and full of humour. A real inspiration!
A fantastic album, but it’s the title track here that is timeless. The A sections centre around 3 chords in the natural minor key of the song, then the B sections run through some major ii-V-Is starting on the songs relative major. Then the bridge just runs down some chromatic chords, modulates and then cools it down with the turnaround - and then those solos! And that great vocal. Just awesome.
Wow that drops into a real groove at 1:30!
Nice harmonic analysis too James… you must be learning a lot from transcribing and analysing … it really is the most time effective way to improve, and you are in complete control of the direction of your sound which is liberating!
Great to see!
The sax solo is also awesome… just keeps on giving! Great record
Great encouragement Hayden, thank you! Actually, months ago I would have not at all picked up on the major ii-V-Is - so thanks to your tuition!
I was rediscovering this after it popped into my head from nowhere. It may be that I was subconsciously admiring the voice leading in the harmony, or it may be for completely different reasons. Either way, it’s a great wee tune.
Awesome groove James!
All of this funk you’re posting is piquing my interest in the genre.
I’ve been adding them to a “Funk” playlist in my Spotify account
I was thinking shared Spotify playlists could be a cool idea for PianoGroove.