"...Recorded at Rudy Van Gelder’s famed recording studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on May 28th, 1962 and officially released shortly thereafter on July 4, 1962, Takin’ Off marked Hancock’s debut as an ensemble leader. For his first adventure as director of a team, Hancock did not hold back in the selection of the ensemble’s members. He selected an impressive all-star lineup, including trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, saxophonist Dexter Gordon—a renowned player who had assimilated West Coast Jazz and Coltrane’s lessons and was enjoying a massive renaissance since signing with Blue Note—and the terrific rhythmic support of bass player Billy Higgins and drummer Butch Warren.
The result of such a stellar list of musicians and their collaborative musical camaraderie is an album that unveiled their ability to balance sophistication, class, and accessibility with funky and blues-rooted grooves. Takin’ Off is a flawlessly executed artistic endeavor, brandishing Hancock’s playful sense of rhythm and the quintet’s adventurous nature in experimenting with a broad array of styles, techniques, and harmonies."
- Giulia Bianchi, albumism
|Three Bags Full|
|Alone And I|