One of Herbie Hancock's greatest attributes is his ability to take a contemporary form of music and add his own unique perspective through his recordings. Future 2 Future is no exception to the rule. Teaming with Bill Laswell, Hancock recruits some of the most forward-thinking musicians in music for Future 2 Future. The contributions of electronic music pioneer Carl Craig, vocal diva Chaka Khan, drum'n'bass producer A Guy Called Gerald, as well as jazz legends Jack DeJohnette and Wayne Shorter make the album feel like a cross between modern electronica and world music.
Few jazz artists can claim the versatility and breadth of musical sympathies of Herbie Hancock. His 1998 album Gershwin's World marked the centenary of the composer by putting his music in the context of the origins of jazz and ragtime, and featured a range of star singers. Taking the album on the road, the individual numbers gradually became abstracted into the instrumentals to be heard here.
Herbie Hancock's edition in the Columbia This Is Jazz series draws six tracks from the approximately 12-year period between 1974 and 1986. An electric band is featured on half of the selections, including "Gentle Thoughts" from Secrets, "Actual Proof" from Thrust, and "Calypso" from Mr. Hands. These aren't exactly the best tracks from Hancock's electric period, and the acoustic portion – covering "The Sorcerer" from a 1981 V.S.O.P. performance in Tokyo, the live duet "Maiden Voyage" by Hancock and Chick Corea, and "The Peacocks" from the 1986 film 'Round Midnight – are similarly erratic. All of the selections on This Is Jazz are good, but it doesn't make much sense to feature such a scattered set of tracks.