The Prisoner, one of Hancock's last Blue Note LPs, had a cover that showed the pianist/composer disconsolate behind bars. The image is beginning to seem more and more apt as Hancock, whose Head Hunters was the first album of progressive, jazz-rooted improvisational music to make it into the Top Ten, tries harder to overcome the success of his own influential formulas. Head Hunters was a perfect commercial vehicle for extended improvising, with its cooking, danceable rhythms, its mysterious synthesizer overlays and its African... Read More
ethnic touches. Thrust
provided more dance rhythms and less originality, and didn't sell nearly as well.
What to do? Man-Child hedges its bets by presenting more tracks (six, as opposed to four each on the two previous LPs) and more grooves. "Hang Up Your Hang Ups" and "Steppin' in It" could be outtakes from the earlier works; they bounce and burble along irrepressibly, and the improvising is funky and slight. "Bubbles" features sensitive soprano saxophone by guest Wayne Shorter, is slower and more reflective and develops into the most beautiful piece in the recent Hancock discography. "Sun Touch," thoughtfully constructed around an intermittent vamp figure, is almost as impressive. In trying to please two audiences fans of jazz improvisation and the get-down crowd Hancock may find himself imprisoned between two worlds. But Man-Child's structures are more varied and the solos are more involving than anything on Thrust. This is altogether a braver, more substantial LP; hopefully its reception will embolden Hancock to move further beyond formula toward the lasting fusion of improvisational interest and R&B drive he is capable of creating. (RS 204)
CD Track List
Track List 1 Track List 2
1. Hang Up Your Hang Ups
2. Sun Touch
3. The Traitor
5. Steppin' In It
Track lists are from a 3rd party source.
Items below can and will differ.