Are you in the mood for some goosepimples? I guarantee that you will get a big dose right from the first note of Herbie Hancock’s The Imagine Project and then all throughout this remarkable all-star album.
Jazz music fans know Hancock very well. He is this great pianist whose tinkle tinkle of the ivories can produce so much soul. He played with Miles Davis. He is an insightful songwriter. Remember Speak Like A Child. He is also one excellent producer. I am sure you still remember how his last album The River: The Joni Letters, a tribute to the music of Joni Mitchell ran off with the Album of the Year award, plus a few more trophies at the Grammies two years ago. Hancock is now back with another album that will surely grab an award or two and which will be much talked about and most of all, listened to for a long time.
Hancock explains what The Imagine Project is in the liner notes. This album was recorded in various countries throughout the world, in multiple languages, and with various international artists in an effort to show the power and the beauty of global collaboration as a golden path to peace. It is just too bad that it takes more than making beautiful music together to achieve world peace. If it were, I can say that the release of The Imagine Project had already achieved this end.
But back to the goosepimples. We get the initial dose from Hancock’s piano intro to John Lennon’s Imagine followed by the vocals of India.Arie and Oumou Sangare. Goosepimples. Goosepimples. And not only that. There are also Jeff Beck on the guitar and chants from Konono No. 1. What a song! It still works after all these years. And what voices! What an introduction to the myriad delights waiting in the other cuts. As if that were not enough Peter Gabriel’s Don’t Give Up comes up next as performed by Pink and John Legend. Double wow!
Hancock, who also arranged, provides his own kind of thrills throughout the CD. He plays piano and keyboards in his own distinctive style in all of the songs. Then as in the first two tracks each one features artists who make various types of music but now perform together to create this wonderful album that they recorded in studios from Paris to London to India and other places.
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