In memoriam of the late, great Wayne Shorter who died earlier this year, Herbie Hancock played a two-night residency in honour of his friend whom he performed with alongside Miles Davis in the 1960s and collaborated with throughout other decades.

Together with his band, they began the show on ‘Overture’; fused with glimmering, electronic sound effects and a chrysalis of percussive and warm brass medley, speeding up into funky pedal effects, trumpet frenzy and Hancock’s tumbling piano piece. The second part of the track featured Caribbean keys, backing vocals and a long, erratic and dramatic piano solo.

Hancock moved onto a cover of Shorter’s ‘Footsteps’, originally covered by Terence Blanchard, with its basic rhythmic, swaying momentum and each other instrumental element being layered over from piano to ribbons of trumpet to stealthy guitar and back again. He also performed ‘70s material from his band The Headhunters.

Next Hancock played keyboard and sung using a Sennheiser VSM-201 vocoder as he did on his 1978 studio album ‘Sunlight’, performing ‘Come Running To Me’, which he ended on a humourous continuation of speaking into the vocoder after the end of the song.

The band ended their almost two-hour set on jazz standard, ‘Chameleon’; Hancock played on keytar doing a solo high-pitched medley with the rest of the band, including a more electro-funk interaction with the keyboard.

28/07/23: Herbie Hancock @ Barbican, London.

Photos © Ayisha Khan.

© Ayisha Khan.