Posts Tagged ‘Cantaloupe Island’

US3 & Cantaloupe Island

In Cantaloupe Island on December 28, 2013 at 7:43 pm

For the 20th anniversary of Us3’s acclaimed, platinum-certified 1993 album, Hand On The Torch and its gold-certified lead single, “Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia).” To celebrate the occasion, the album has been digitally remastered and expanded with four new remixes of “Cantaloop” for a new 2-CD 20th Anniversary Edition on September 17, 2013 by Blue Note/UMe

Music video by US3 Featuring Rahsaan And Gerard Presencer performing Cantaloop (Video) (Feat. Rahsaan And Gerard Presencer).

Us3 is a jazz-rap group founded in London in 1992. Their name was inspired by a Horace Parlan recording produced by Alfred Lion, the founder of Blue Note Records. On their debut album, Hand on the Torch, Us3 exclusively used samples from the Blue Note Records catalogue, all originally produced by Lion.

Us3 is the brainchild of London-based producer Geoff Wilkinson. Formed in 1992 alongside production partner Mel Simpson, Us3 had two previous incarnations. The first, a limited edition white label 12″ release in 1990 called “Where Will We Be In The 21st Century”. The release garnered the attention of independent label Ninja Tune, resulting in NW1’s 1991 12″ “The Band Played The Boogie” featuring UK Rapper Born 2 B. It sampled a dancefloor tune of the burgeoning jazz dance scene, Grant Green’s “Sookie Sookie”, originally released on Blue Note Records.

London’s Kiss FM added “The Band Played The Boogie” to its playlist and Wilkinson received a call summoning him to EMI Records’s offices in London. Wilkinson avoided a lawsuit and was granted rights to the archives of Blue Note Records. One of the resulting demos, recorded in March 1992, was “Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia),”featuring UK Trumpeter Gerard Presencer. It sampled Herbie Hancock’s Cantaloupe Island. Two years later, it entered the US top ten and was included on Hand on the Torch, the first Blue Note album to achieve Platinum status (1,000,000 sales) in the USA.

Quelques grilles

In Cantaloupe Island, Free Cell Block, In Walked Bud, Psychedelic Sally, Stolen Moments, Take Five, The Sidewinder on December 17, 2013 at 12:59 pm

Stolen Moments, Take Five, Cantaloupe Island, In Walked Bud, Psychedelic Sally, the Sidewinder, Free Cell Block F, Tis Nazi USA.

Scales for Cantaloupe Island

In Cantaloupe Island, Scales on June 3, 2013 at 9:25 am

The chords are:    4 x F- / 4 x Db7 / 4 x D- / 4 x F-cantaloupe Island

So, Cantaloupe island is only three chords, F- D- and Db7

  • For F- and D- , we can use the minor pentatonics or the dorian scales for each chord.
  • For Db7 , we can use Db mixolydian, or Ab minor pentatonic or Ab dorian.
  • For the solo, either use a straight Db7, or also a Db7+4 (lydian dominant) chord/scale (Db Eb F G Ab Bb Cb Db)


Here’s a 1-scale approach derived from the melody:

The entire melody of this song is made of the f-blues scale (F-Ab-Bb-B-C-Eb). consequently you might stay with it while improvising. of course there are certain ‘clashes’ with some of the chords if you do this:

  • When it comes to Db7, we need to skip the C note (being the ^7  of Db7) or replacing it with Db note
  • When it comes to D-, there is a certain tension if you continue to play the f-blues scale – but it might work (alternatively you might switch to the d-blues scale for these 4 bars).

Happy birthday Herbie Hancock April 12th

In Cantaloupe Island on April 12, 2013 at 3:29 pm

On stage: Jack DeJohnette, Pat Metheny, Dave Holland and Herbie Hancock

hh1Herbert Jeffrey Hancock was born on April 12, 1940 in Chicago, Illinois and considered a prodigy as a child. When Herbie was eleven years old he performed a Mozart concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Hancock began taking an interest in Jazz in his teens and transcribed records of Oscar Peterson and Bill Evans and also was into the vocal group the Hi-Lo’s. In his own words, “by the time I actually heard the Hi-Lo’s, I started picking that stuff out; my ear was happening. I could hear stuff and that’s when I really learned some much farther-out voicings -like the harmonies I used on ‘Speak Like a Child’ -just being able to do that. I really got that from Clare Fischer’s arrangements for the Hi-Lo’s. Clare Fischer was a major influence on my harmonic concept… He and Bill Evans, and Ravel and Gil Evans, finally. You know, that’s where it really came from. Almost all of the harmony that I play can be traced to one of those four people and whoever their influences were.” After high school Herbie attended Grinnell College where he double-majored in music and electrical engineering. Herbie quickly formed a reputation in Jazz in the 1960s performing with Donald Byrd, Coleman Hawkins, Oliver Nelson and Phil Woods and made his first album on Blue Note called ‘Takin’ Off’ in 1962.

Hancock’s first album caught the attention of Miles Davis and Herbie was asked to join his quintet in 1963 with Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter and Tony Williams. Some of the classic albums recorded by the quintet include ‘E.S.P.’, ‘Nefertiti’ and ‘Sorcerer’ and he also appeared on Davis’ albums ‘Bitches Brew’, ‘In a Silent Way’ and ‘Tribute to Jack Johnson’ among others. It was Miles who first introduced Herbie to the Fender Rhodes and began his interest in electronic keyboards. During the 1960s Hancock also made many albums under his own name including ‘Empyrean Isles’, ‘Maiden Voyage’, ‘Speak Like a Child’ and others. Herbie also began his career in film composing the score to the film Blow Up and in television by composing the soundtrack to the show Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids. In the 1970s Hancock began experimenting more with electronic instruments in Jazz and formed a group with Buster Williams, Billy Hart, Eddie Henderson, Julian Priester, Bennie Maupin, and Dr. Patrick Gleason. Albums this group made include ‘Mwandishi’, ‘Crossings’ and ‘Sextant’. These experimental albums led to the creation of one of Herbie’s most successful groups, The Headhunters, with Maupin, Bill Summers, Paul Jackson and Harvey Mason. The Headhunters were well received and their first album, ‘Head Hunters’, was the first Jazz album to go Platinum. By the mid 1970s Herbie was traveling around the world performing for stadium sized crowds. Hancock also continued with acoustic Jazz in the late ‘70s forming VSOP with the members of the Miles Davis Quintet minus Miles.

hh2In the 1980s Herbie continued with VSOP II with Wynton and Branford Marsalis, Ron Carter and Tony Williams. In 1983 Hancock made an album with Bill Laswell called ‘Future Shock’ which went platinum and their hit song from that album “Rockit” won a Grammy for Best R&B Instrumental and the music video won five MTV awards. Their follow up album ‘Sound System’ also won a Grammy. In 1986 Herbie won an Oscar for his work scoring the film Round Midnight. Highlights for Herbie in 1990s include his Acid Jazz album ‘Dis Is Da Drum’ in 1994 followed by ‘The New Standard’ with an all star band that won a Grammy in 1996. In ’97 Hancock and Wayne Shorter recorded a duo album called ‘1+1’ and the following year The Headhunters reunited and went on tour with the Dave Matthews band. Herbie’s most celebrated achievement of this decade is by far his 2007 album ‘River: The Joni Letters’ with Joni Mitchell, Wayne Shorter, Lionel Loueke, Dave Holland and Vinnie Colauita. There many special guests on this album as well including Norah Jones, Tina Turner, Corrine Bailey Rae and Leonard Cohen. The album won a Grammy for Album of The Year and was the first Jazz album to do so in fifty years and only the second time ever a Jazz album has won the honors.

Herbie Hancock continues on making music and breaking barriers which only seem to exist for everyone except Herbie. The almost literally ageless Hancock has an unbelievable body of work and the thought that he is far from done is mind boggling. Herbie’s influence has reached nearly every genre of music in America and continues to simply make the music he wants to make in that moment without the rationalization that seems to hold back most others from reaching their potential. Herbie has won twelve Grammy Awards, an Oscar, NEA Jazz Masters Award, voted into the Down Beat Hall of Fame and so many others. I can’t wait to see what Herbie Hancock will do next.

“Practicing Buddhism has brought several revelations to me. One that has been extremely important to my own personal development and consequently my musical development — is the realization that I am not a musician. That’s not what I am. It’s what I do. What I am is a human being. Being a human being includes me being a musician. It includes my being a father, a husband, a neighbor, a citizen and an African-American. All of these relationships have to do with my existence on the planet.”

“Creativity and artistic endeavors have a mission that goes far beyond just making music for the sake of music.”

“Without wisdom, the future has no meaning, no valuable purpose.”

“Since time is a continuum, the moment is always different, so the music is always different.” – Herbie Hancock

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Cantaloup Island, by Grant Green and Donald Byrd

In Cantaloupe Island on April 12, 2013 at 1:08 pm


An inspiring version of Cantaloup Island, by Grant Green and Donald Byrd:

His Majesty King Funk / Up With Donald Byrd, recorded May 26, 1965 in New York City
and November 2, 3, 6 and December 16, 1964.

  • Arranged By, Conductor – Claus Ogerman (tracks: 6 to 14)
  • Bass – Bob Cranshaw (tracks: 6 to 14), Ron Carter (tracks: 6 to 14)
  • Bongos, Congas – Candido Camero*
  • Drums – Ben Dixon (tracks: 1 to 5), Grady Tate (tracks: 6 to 14)
  • GuitarGrant Green (tracks: 1 to 5), Kenny Burrell (tracks: 6 to 14)
  • Organ – Larry Young (tracks: 1 to 5)
  • Piano – Herbie Hancock (tracks: 6 to 14)
  • Producer – Creed Taylor
  • Tenor Saxophone – Jimmy Heath (tracks: 6 to 14), Stanley Turrentine (tracks: 6 to 14)
  • Tenor Saxophone, Flute – Harold Vick (tracks: 1 to 5)
  • Trumpet – Donald Byrd (tracks: 6 to 14)
  • Vocals – The Donald Byrd Singers (tracks: 6 to 14)

All parts, and back track are in the box, including the Guitars voice  which is replacing the choir.


Cantaloupe Island

In Album, Cantaloupe Island on April 6, 2013 at 6:38 pm
Cantaloupe Island” is a jazz standard composed by Herbie Hancock and recorded for his 1964 album Empyrean Isles during his early years as one of the members of Miles Davis’ 1960s quintet. It is one of the very first examples of a modal jazz composition set to funk style groove. The musicians for the original 1964 recording were: Hancock (piano), Freddie Hubbard (cornet), Ron Carter (bass) and Tony Williams (drums).

cantaloupeEmpyrean Isles is the fourth album by American jazz pianist Herbie Hancock, recorded on June 17, 1964 for Blue Note Records. It features the debut of two of his most popular compositions, “One Finger Snap” and “Cantaloupe Island”.

From the original liner notes by Duke Pearson: “This is a quartet album for trumpet and rhythm section. In this circumstance, a problem was created for the composer-arranger, in that the lack of another instrument supporting the lower, richer register, such as a tenor saxophone, might result in a shallow sound. With this problem in mind, Herbie Hancock, who composed and arranged all the tunes, wrote them to sound more like improvisations than ensemble melodies, so that the warmth and fullness of a supporting melody would not be missed. Free sketches were written in such a way that each instrument is allowed great flexibility of interpretation. In many cases, no melodic line was laid out over the chords nor atonal clusters written, so that the trumpeter could supply any melody he wished.”

From the 1999 reissue liner notes by Bob Blumenthal: “If someone had ordered up a program that explored four distinct areas of jazz expression with equal brilliance, they could not have done better than Empyrean Isles. It is as if Hancock had set out to present ‘changes,’ modal, funk and free playing and delivered each at its apex.”

The album was recorded by Rudy Van Gelder.

One Finger Snap

This composition features a short melody played in unison (which is only used as an intro, an ending and to tie between solos), followed by a chord progression without a written melody, going straight to improvisation. The Real Book has the first chorus of Freddie Hubbard’s solo written as if it were the head.

Track listingHerbieHancock

All compositions by Herbie Hancock.

  1.  “One Finger Snap” – 7:20
  2.  “Oliloqui Valley” – 8:28
  3.  “Cantaloupe Island” – 5:32
  4.  “The Egg” – 14:00

Bonus tracks on 1999 CD release:

5. “One Finger Snap” (Alternate Take) – 7:37
6. “Oliloqui Valley” (Alternate Take) – 10:47


  • Herbie Hancock − Piano
  • Freddie Hubbard − Cornet
  • Ron Carter − Bass
  • Tony Williams − drums
 From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia