Jazz legend Herbie Hancock might be working on the most anticipated jazz-funk / hip-hop hybrid album of 2018. The famed keyboardist has recruited the ultimate eclectic mix of big names new and old for his upcoming LP.
Though there is no release date or title set for the latest LP, the 77-year-old 14-time Grammy winner told the San Diego Tribune that he’s been working with the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Flying Lotus, Common, Wayne Shorter and Snoop Dogg for the release — continuing his give-and-take legacy with the hip-hop community. While very much a legend in his own right, Hancock said he is “still learning” from some of the newer aspects of his younger features:
“I’m learning a lot from the young people I’m working with,” Hancock said, speaking from his Hollywood Hills home. “Because they built the new structures, social media and that whole arena, and that affects how you get things out in front of the public to let them know you’re working on something.”
Though technically a jazz keyboardist, Hancock’s inventive work has been frequently sampled in hip-hop, most notably his electro-funk ’80s staple “Rockit,” which has been re-purposed over seventy times, as SDT points out. And he strongly believes in the power of bridging rap and jazz himself: When Billboard asked in 2016 if he thought that Kendrick’s To Pimp a Butterfly was “a gateway to jazz,” he replied, “Oh, I know it is.”
Saxophonist and keyboardist Terrace Martin is producing the project, which makes sense, as the producer has worked with Kendrick Lamar (on his untitled unmastered and To Pimp a Butterfly albums), as well as with fellow Hancock collaborator Snoop Dogg.