Happy birthday, Mwandishi


Photo: Jim McCrary, Redferns (Herbie Hancock, in California, 1976)
Photo: Jim McCrary, Redferns (Herbie Hancock, in California, 1976)

I fell in love with jazz before knowing what to call it. My dad aka Pops (G. Cordell) and pianist, Herbie Hancock, were big parts of that great love affair. Pops always kept the car radio tuned in to Jazz 91.1 KCSM, and I thank my lucky stars he did. Jazz was our thing. When I was a kid he’d take me to jazz clubs in Oakland and San Francisco, he’d sip his gin and tonic, lean back, nod his head and we’d revel in the mind blowing improvisation Black folks birthed.

Herbie Hancock was one of my earliest introductions to music, and last week he turned 73 years young. Remember those Bose speakers commercials? This cat never ages. Happy birthday, Mwandishi. 


Here’s one of Herbie’s gems . . . a song to which I always seem to I find myself returning, ‘You’ll Know When You Get There’, from the Swalhili named Mwandishi (1971) album. Maybe my constant return has something to do with Slum Village sampling this masterpiece way back when (on their Fan-Tas-Tic Vol. 1 album) but maybe it has even more to do with J Dilla. – Starr*, Happy Black Girl


1 thought on “Happy birthday, Mwandishi

  1. dude on the bike says:

    i got introduced to the man with ‘rocket’, but in my 20’s i began my musical journey as a collector and dj, and then i discovered all the many, many amazing sounds the man contributed to music. i feel in love with miles davis ‘kind of blue’ the very first time i drop the needle on the record.

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