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Herbie Hancock’s Fender Rhodes Solo on: "Scarborough Fair/Canticle"(Paul Simon)

August 29, 2012

Steve Kahn does a good job analyzing Herbie Hancock solos:

“Of interest in Herbie’s approach to this solo is that, as he begins, his left-hand clearly acknowleges the 5/4 rhythm, but the melodies in right-hand seem to float over the time, and over the bar-lines. The phrases do not seem to conform to the expected groupings of 4 and 8 bars. For example, the ‘answer’ to his opening phrase, begins in the 8th bar. It could be said that both of these phrases are but 6-bars in length. However, what is of greater interest than this is the sense of harmony. Remember, we are only given an Fm7 sonority as a base. Normally, one would expect to see notes which conform to the F Dorian mode(F, G, Ab, Bb, C, D, Eb). His opening motif does exactly that and, in a way, could be considered a ‘creative’ paraphrase of the melody. Notice that there is an emphasis placed on the note, Eb. His left-hand voicings are clearly in F minor and are in the style of the times, perhaps influenced by McCoy Tyner. But, such things could have come from his love for the piano music of Debussy or Ravel too?”



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