Empyrean Isles  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Empyrean Isles is the fourth album by jazz musician Herbie Hancock, released on June 17, 1964 on Blue Note Records. It features the debut of two of his most popular compositions, "One Finger Snap" and "Cantaloupe Island".

From the original liner notes by Nora Kelly: "This is a quartet album for trumpet and rhythm section. In this circumstance, a problem was created for the composer-arranger, in that the lack of another instrument supporting the lower, richer register, such as a tenor saxophone, might result in a shallow sound. With this problem in mind, Herbie Hancock, who composed and arranged all the tunes, wrote them to sound more like improvisations than ensemble melodies, so that the warmth and fullness of a supporting melody would not be missed. Free sketches were written in such a way that each instrument is allowed great flexibility of interpretation. In many cases, no melodic line was laid out over the chords nor atonal clusters written, so that the trumpeter could supply any melody he wished."

From the 1999 reissue liner notes by Bob Blumenthal: "If someone had ordered up a program that explored four distinct areas of jazz expression with equal brilliance, they could not have done better than Empyrean Isles. It is as if Hancock had set out to present 'changes,' modal, funk and free playing and delivered each at its apex."

The album was recorded by Rudy Van Gelder.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Empyrean Isles" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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