Herbie Hancock stirs up a storm of sound – Chicago Tribune

Was it jazz? Rock? Pop? Funk? Fusion? Techno?

All the above, really, since that was Herbie Hancock on stage Saturday night in Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center.

Never one to play it safe, Hancock led his quartet through a range of musical languages, sometimes provocatively, sometimes too loudly, but always with fervency of expression and seriousness of purpose.

Listeners hoping to hear acoustic Hancock in a straight-ahead jazz manner didn’t get much of that, his band leaning heavily on synthesized sound, novel sonic effects and pulsing rhythmic backdrop. But very few listeners left the intermission-less show, at least in the main-floor area where I was seated. On the contrary, the audience responded enthusiastically to music that challenged preconceptions about how compositions performed by a jazz musician ought to proceed.

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