Last night, August 22nd, I got the chance to see Herbie Hancock: Next Generation and R+R=Now at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl. It was my first time attending a concert in Los Angeles, and what better place than the historic Hollywood Bowl! Also, I just saw Herbie Hancock and Kamasi Washington in Philadelphia less than 20 days ago, so, this was kind of like a one-sided reunion of sorts. However, instead of having Kamasi Washington in the opening slot, supergroup, R+R=Now, comprised of Robert Glasper (Keys), Derrick Hodge (Bass), Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah (Trumpet), Taylor McFerrin (Beatbox/Vocals/A Bunch of other incredible stuff), Justin Tyson (Drums), Terrace Martin (Alto Saxophone/Keys/Vocals), opened the night playing music from their debut album Collagically Speaking as well as tunes from their individual catalogs.
In my review of Herbie Hancock’s concert in Philadelphia, I wrote about his youthful approach, and orientation, toward music; his willingness to work with younger artists. For his show at the Hollywood Bowl, he invited bassist and vocalist, Thundercat, as well as singer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist, Phoelix. Noname was initially slated to play with Hancock but Thundercat took her spot. So, without further ado, here are my 10 takeaways/favorite moments from last night’s show.
10 Takeaways/Favorite Moments from the Concert:
Herbie Hancock’s imagination of sound is limitless (he started his set by asking if we were ready to travel to outer space)
Derrick Hodge’s conceptualization of harmony and rhythm are otherworldly. During a solo Hodge played a rearranged version of his song Message of Hope, then seamlessly transitioned into R+R=Now’s Resting Warrior, which means he not only had to change key signatures, but he also had to change time signatures.
I need more R+R=Now! Like, NOW! Collagically Speaking will have to due for the time being.
Terrace Martin referenced Wade In the Water in a solo, that was both gripping and stirring. Then, after Martin’s solo, Robert Glasper built his solo around the same melody, with a reharominized chord progression!
Herbie Hancock is an example of the openness, humility, and mentorship that is sorely needed in music and all walks of life.
The Hollywood Bowl sounded incredible! Really crisp and clean.
Terrace Martin’s musical vocabulary and dexterity is amazing to see. Whether he’s producing for YG, playing for Herbie Hancock, or playing alongside R+R=Now, he always finds his lane, and it feels like he’s supposed to be there.
During a solo, Taylor McFerrin created a loop, then beatboxed over the loop. Then, midway through his solo he played a remixed version of Herbie Hancock’s Chameleon!
I’ve seen Robert Glasper probably more times than I’ve seen any other artist, but he still blows my mind every time I hear him. This night was no different!
For the encore, there was an all-star jam playing Hancock’s Chameleon. Here’s who was on stage: Herbie Hancock, Robert Glasper, Elena Pinderhughes, Christian Scott aTune Adjuah, Terrace Martin, Thundercat, Kamasi Washington, Lionel Loueke, James Genus, and Vinnie Colaiuta.