ARTicle Magazine

Rogue Classic Albums Live: Maiden Voyage

05 June 2017

Pianist Dan Hayles on the 1965 album he and his band will be performing in the 2017 Wellington Jazz Festival.

Maiden Voyage

Rogue Classic Albums Live: Maiden Voyage, Dan Hayles and band, 6pm, Thursday 8 June, The Rogue & Vagabond, as part of the 2017 Wellington Jazz Festival, Wednesday 7–Sunday 11 June.

In the interest of full disclosure, it was actually my good friend Chris Buckland who suggested Herbie Hancock’s Maiden Voyage as a candidate for this year’s edition of Rogue Classic Albums Live. I obliged, as Hancock is a staple in my listening diet, has been a mainstay of jazz culture since his days as a Miles Davis sideman (at age 19! Incredible/inspiring/soul-crushing) and continues to show up on the menu as a major player today (he recently sat in with The Roots on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon).

This 1965 release contains just five tunes, each seeming to represent a different facet of Hancock’s delicate mastery of jazz piano’s subtle flavour variants: the modal crunch of Maiden Voyage; The Eye of the Hurricane’s steaming hard bop; tender shoots of angular chordal mystery in Little One; the insistent arresting heat of Survival of the Fittest; and the final cut, Dolphin Dance, which seems to be a taste of Hancock’s more narrative offerings to come (in 1969 with the album Fat Albert Rotunda, for instance).

The band I'm performing with is hand picked and well seasoned: Ben Hunt plays Freddie Hubbard (trumpet), Bryn van Vliet as George Coleman (tenor saxophone), Johnny Lawrence as Ron Carter (bass) and Cory Champion as a young and ferocious (at age 21) Tony Williams (drums). A representative slice of the Wellington scene we love so much, for an album that showcases the many acoustic flavours of Herbie Hancock.