Here is a cool 2007 interview with the great Herbie Hancock from AllAboutJazz. Hancock covers a number of topics, including his at-the-time new album River: The Joni Letters, a tribute to the music of an old friend and colleague, Joni Mitchell which he recorded with saxophonist Wayne Shorter, drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, bassist Dave Holland, guitarist Lionel Loueke and singers Norah Jones, Tina Turner, Luciana Souza, Corinne Bailey Rae, Leonard Cohen, and Mitchell herself. From the interview:
AAJ: The musicians, I know your association with them, Wayne and Dave and everybody else. You chose those guys when other people might have thought that you would have chosen people from the pop world or folk world, something that people assume in Joni’s world.
HH: The reason I didn’t do that is because I don’t have to do that. [laughs] [Pop musicians] might be obvious choices, but then she’s already done that. Why would I do the same things she’s already done? What made sense to me that could be interesting—my foundation is in jazz and I’m recording it for Verve as my next jazz record. Why not have a context that’s more associated with jazz. How would that work? That would be more of an interesting challenge. It would pretty much ensure that we wouldn’t be re-inventing the wheel. You try and re-invent the wheel of songs that somebody not only wrote but they played on, and were an important part of the process of the sound of the record, the arrangements. I knew Joni was the source of those arrangements, from knowing her and how she involves herself in the music. She was certainly there to make so many of those decisions about how she wanted to be rendered. For her records.
Click here to read Herbie Hancock: Inspired By the Written Word of a Friend