After the phenomenal success of TAKIN' OFF, Herbie Hancock's second release for Blue Note was constructed in the mold of its predecessor. The tantalizing MY POINT OF VIEW offers many of the same early Hancock signature moments, but with an expanded palette that reflects the pianist's growing experience. A larger ensemble helped to broaden the range of this release as Blue Note regulars Donald Byrd, Hank Mobley, and Grant Green add to Hancock's sonic textures. Also on board are the advanced trombonist Grachan Moncur III, Bill Evans' bassist Chuck Israels, and the young drum wonder Tony Williams.
On MY POINT OF VIEW, smooth-jazz multi-instrumentalist Najee offers up a solid set of groove-based easy-listening tunes. While guest vocalists appear on a few tracks, Najee's talent on the flute, alto saxophone, and soprano saxophone is such that the disc's instrumentals prove to be the highlights.
Mirroring his onetime boss and mentor Miles Davis' own protean output, Herbie Hancock has explored hard bop, soul-jazz, fusion, funk-rock, soundtracks, hip-hop-inflected pop ("Rockit"), and many permutations in between. His early work for Blue Note, though, offers the best entrée for newcomers. Compiled from five of his albums for the label and covering a period from 1962-1968, this fine sampler includes highlights from his debut, Takin' Off ("Watermelon Man"), the classic Maiden Voyage (the title track and "Dolphin Dance"), and the early electric album Speak Like a Child (the title track and "Riot"). Add to this more indelible cuts like "Cantaloupe Island" and "One Finger Snap," not to mention the presence of numerous '60s jazz luminaries (Dexter Gordon, Freddie Hubbard, Thad Jones, Hank Mobley, Billy Higgins, et al.), and you have perfect way to get a taste of some of the best modern jazz committed to wax.