Concert Review: HERBIE HANCOCK & ESPERANZA SPALDING (The Hollywood Bowl)

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by Susan Gordon on October 4, 2021

in Concerts / Events,Theater-Los Angeles

The Hollywood Bowl’s Shortened Jazz Season Ends on a High Note!

What a wonderful jazz fusion double-bill at the Hollywood Bowl on Sunday, September 26 featuring four-time GRAMMY Award-winning bassist Esperanza Spalding accompanied by her long-time cohort, Argentinian Leo Genovese on keyboard, sax and accordion, opening up for the great pianist/composer, and one of the most influential figures in jazz the Hollywood Bowl’s Creative Chair for Jazz, the young 81-year-old Herbie Hancock. Spalding and Genovese performed a selection of Spalding’s favorites including ‘Wild is The Wind,’ ‘Cinnamon Tree,’ and ‘Fall In’.

Hancock performed with his current touring band — Lionel Loueke (guitar), James Genus (bass), and Elena Pinderhughes (flute, vocals), and Justin Tyson (drums), seemingly effortlessly interacting and riffing with the younger musicians on the piano, electric keyboard, and his portable synthesizer, the ‘keytar.’ Keeping the audience bopping to many of his favorites with ‘Overture,’ which had sounds of ‘Textures,’ ‘Butterfly,’ and ‘Chameleon,’ as well an interesting solo from Loueke with ‘Rockit.’ Of course, the audience grooved to ‘Canteloupe Island’ and enjoyed Hancock’s use of the Vocoder when he sang Happy Birthday to his wife with his 7-month-old grandson Drew on his lap. The Hollywood Bowl shortened jazz summer season ended on a very high note providing hope for a more normal summer season next year.

photos by Dustin Downing provided courtesy of the LA Phil

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