Herbie Hancock

(Herbert Jeffrey Hancock)

Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock
  • Born: April 12, 1940
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Musician, Singer-songwriter, Composer, DJ, Bandleader, Record Producer, Arranger, Actor









Quote Topics Cited
All you have to do is play one note. But it needs to be the right note.
As a human being, I'm concerned about the world that I live in. So, I'm concerned about peace. I'm concerned about - about man's inhumanity to man. I'm concerned about the environment. War & Peace
At a certain point, I became a kind of musician that has tunnel vision about jazz. I only listened to jazz and classical music. Music, Chants & Rapps
Back in the day for me was a great time in my life - I was in my 20s. Most people refer to their experiences in their twenties as being a highlight in their life. It's a period of time where you often develop your own way, your own sound, your own identity, and that happened with me, when I was with a great teacher - Miles Davis. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Life ;Time
Being a musician is what I do, but it's not what I am.
Being vulnerable is allowing yourself to trust. That's hard for a lot of people to do. They feel a lot more secure if they kind of put walls around themselves. Then they don't have to trust anybody but themselves. Trust
Buddhism has turned me on to my humanness, and is challenging my humanness so that I can become more human.
But I have to be careful not to let the world dazzle me so much that I forget that I'm a husband and a father. Families, Children & Parenting
But, the truth is that everyone is somebody already. Truth
Clare Fischer was a major influence on my harmonic concept. He and Bill Evans, and Ravel and Gil Evans, finally. You know, that's where it really came from. Almost all of the harmony that I play can be traced to one of those four people and whoever their influences were.
Creativity and artistic endeavors have a mission that goes far beyond just making music for the sake of music. Music, Chants & Rapps
Creativity shouldn't be following radio; it should be the other way around.
Each human being exists because there's something they have to offer for the evolution of the universe that only they can fulfill.
Forget about trying to compete with someone else. Create your own pathway. Create your own new vision.
Getting the Oscar had the biggest impression on me.
Globalization means we have to re-examine some of our ideas, and look at ideas from other countries, from other cultures, and open ourselves to them. And that's not comfortable for the average person.
Hip-hop is all over the planet.
I am not fundamentally a musician, I am fundamentally a human being.
I don't go around, the way many musicians do, with earbuds in my ear listening to my iPod all day and just sticking my head in the music all the time. Time ;Music, Chants & Rapps
I don't see how we can have both the freedoms we had before and the safety net that we all need considering the way the world is today. And that's just because human beings can't trust each other. We've given in over and over to some of the darkest elements that exist in life itself. Life ;Trust
I don't view myself as a musician anymore - I view myself as a human being that functions as a musician when I'm functioning as a musician, but that's not 24 hours a day. That's really opened me up to even more perspectives because now I look at music, not from the standpoint of being a musician, but from the standpoint of being a human being. Music, Chants & Rapps
I feel a lot more secure about the directions I take, than I might have, had I not practiced Buddhism.
I got a chance to work with Miles Davis, and that changed everything for me, 'cause Miles really encouraged all his musicians to reach beyond what they know, go into unknown territory and explore. It's made a difference to me and the decisions that I've made over the years about how to approach a project in this music. Music, Chants & Rapps ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I hope that I can make good music out of whatever genre I go into. Just to prove to myself that I can. Music, Chants & Rapps ;Hope
I hope to use dialogue and culture as a means of bringing people of various cultures together, and using that as a way to resolve conflict. Hope
I just express myself in any way I feel is appropriate at the moment.
I like the idea of an eclectic approach, incorporating jazz with other forms and other genres of music. Music, Chants & Rapps
I like to be on the edge, on the cutting edge, or be into the unknown, into the territory where I have to depend on being in the moment and depending on my instincts.
I like to present something that the people haven't seen or haven't heard before. Otherwise they might as well just stay home and play the record.
I started off with classical music, and I got into jazz when I was about 14 years old. And I've been playing jazz ever since. Music, Chants & Rapps
I think I was supposed to play jazz.
I think people have learned that Herbie Hancock can be defined as someone that you won't be able to figure out what he's going to do next. The sky is the limit as far as I'm concerned.
I think risk-taking is a great adventure. And life should be full of adventures. Life
I think there's a great beauty to having problems. That's one of the ways we learn.
I try stuff. I synthesize what's of value with some of the other things I have at my disposal.
I try to practice with my life. Life
I'm always interested in looking forward toward the future. Carving out new ways of looking at things. Future
I'm always looking to create new avenues or new visions of music. Music, Chants & Rapps
I'm not special, no more special than anybody else.
I'm one of the people who was a pioneer in encouraging musicians, early in the game, to get interested in technology, and now all the musicians are getting into it. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
In the past, there's always been one leader that has led the pack to development of the music. Music, Chants & Rapps
In World War II, jazz absolutely was the music of freedom, and then in the Cold War, behind the Iron Curtain, same thing. It was all underground, but they needed the food of freedom that jazz offered. Music, Chants & Rapps ;Freedom & Liberty ;War & Peace
It is people's hearts that move the age.
It pulled me like a magnet, jazz did, because it was a way that I could express myself.
It's easy to get sidetracked with technology, and that is the danger, but ultimately you have to see what works with the music and what doesn't. In a lot of cases, less is more. In most cases, less is more. Music, Chants & Rapps ;Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
It's not easy to play in a framework that requires simplicity and to tastefully find ways to interject the kind of freedom that we have in playing jazz. Freedom & Liberty
It's not exclusive, but inclusive, which is the whole spirit of jazz.
It's not the style that motivates me, as much as an attitude of openness that I have when I go into a project.
It's part of life to have obstacles. It's about overcoming obstacles; that's the key to happiness. Life ;Happiness & Unhappiness
It's part of my nature. I get excited when trying out new stuff, whether it be an idea or equipment. It stimulates my juices. Nature
I've always been interested in science. I used to take watches apart and clocks apart, and there's little screws, and a little this and that, and I found out if I dropped one of them, that thing ain't gonna work. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology ;Work, Workers & The Labor Force
I've been a religious, spiritual person for a long time. Time
I've been curious ever since I was a little kid.
I've been practising Buddhism for forty years, and that's what has led me to this path of discovering my own humanity and recognizing the humanity in others.
I've had a life that has taken many interesting paths. I've learned a lot from mentors who were instrumental in shaping me, and I want to share what I've learned. Life
I've never really been interested in doing a solo piano tour.
Jazz has borrowed from other genres of music and also has lent itself to other genres of music. Music, Chants & Rapps
Jazz is about being in the moment.
Miles' sessions were not typical of anybody else's sessions. They were totally unique.
Most people define themselves by what they do - 'I'm a musician.' Then one day it occurred to me that I'm only a musician when I'm playing music - or writing music, or talking about music. I don't do that 24 hours a day. I'm also a father, a son, a husband, a citizen - I mean, when I go to vote, I'm not thinking of myself as 'a musician.' Music, Chants & Rapps
Music happens to be an art form that transcends language. Music, Chants & Rapps ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Music is not the only reason that I practice Buddhism anymore because it has affected my whole life. Life ;Music, Chants & Rapps
Music is the tool to express life - and all that makes a difference. Life ;Music, Chants & Rapps
Music truly is the universal language. Music, Chants & Rapps
My father was really good with math. It's a funny thing, I don't remember my father or my mother being so mechanical-minded. My father always wanted to be a doctor, but he came from a really poor family in Georgia, and there was no way he was going to be a doctor. Humor ;Families, Children & Parenting
My first Grammy wasn't even in a jazz category, but of course I was really excited. 'Rockit' was the beginning of kind of a new era for the whole hip-hop movement.
My hope is that the music will serve as a metaphor for the actions taken by the inhabitants of this wonderful planet as a call for world harmony on all levels. Music, Chants & Rapps ;Hope
Nobody told me I was a child prodigy.
One of the greatest experiences I ever had was listening to a conversation with Joni Mitchell and Wayne Shorter. Just to hear them talking, my mouth was open. They understand each other perfectly, and they make these leaps and jumps because they don't have to explain anything.
One of the most important functions of jazz has been to encourage a hope for freedom, for people living in situations of intolerance or struggle. Hope ;Freedom & Liberty
One thing I like about jazz is that it emphasized doing things differently from what other people were doing.
One thing that attracted me to Buddhism was the support for this larger vision of values.
One thing that sticks in my mind is that jazz means freedom and openness. It's a music that, although it developed out of the African American experience, speaks more about the human experience than the experience of a particular people. Music, Chants & Rapps ;Freedom & Liberty
See, there were certain rules I'd always used, and people like Trane, they would break those rules.
Since time is a continuum, the moment is always different, so the music is always different. Time ;Music, Chants & Rapps
So much of what I create has been due to the influence of Miles Davis and Donald Byrd, and so many of those that have passed on. Their music, their legacy lives on with the rest of us because we are so highly influenced by their experience and what they have given us. Music, Chants & Rapps
Sometimes you have to create a vision, a path for a vision. It may not be apparent, and you may have to forge it yourself. And that will be the way to move your life forward. Life
Take whatever happens and try to make it work. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
The cool thing is that jazz is really a wonderful example of the great characteristics of Buddhism and great characteristics of the human spirit. Because in jazz we share, we listen to each other, we respect each other, we are creating in the moment. At our best, we're non-judgmental. Respect
The Internet opens up a whole new range of possibilities in a wide range of areas.
The music becomes something that is its own entity. Music, Chants & Rapps
The spirit of jazz is the spirit of openness.
The strongest thing that any human being has going is their own integrity and their own heart. As soon as you start veering away from that, the solidity that you need in order to be able to stand up for what you believe in and deliver what's really inside, it's just not going to be there.
The thing that we possess, that machines don't, is the ability to exhibit wisdom.
The value of music is not dazzling yourself and others with technique. Music, Chants & Rapps
The value of music is to be able to play one note at the right time in the right way. Time ;Music, Chants & Rapps
To my wife, I'm not Herbie Hancock the musician. I'm her husband. When I'm talking to a neighbor, I'm a neighbor. When I vote, I'm a citizen.
We are eternally linked not just to each other but our environment.
We need to move into a culture of peace. What I hope to promote is the idea that we all need each other and that the greatest happiness in life is not how much we have but how much we give. That's a wealth that's priceless. You can't buy compassion. Life ;Hope ;Happiness & Unhappiness
We need to put into practice the idea of embracing other cultures. We need to be shaping the kind of world we want to live in instead of waiting for someone else or some other entities to do it for us.
When I was coming up, I practiced all the time because I thought if I didn't I couldn't do my best. Time
When I was in my early teens, I remember coming to the conclusion that your life never ends. Life
When I was six, my best friend's parents bought him a piano. My mother noticed that every time I would go to his house, the first thing I would say to him was 'Levester' - His name was Levester - I said, 'Levester, can I go play your piano?' So, on my 7th birthday, my parents bought me a piano. Time
When the suggestion was made that I might consider doing music of Joni Mitchell, I thought it was a fantastic idea. Joni, I admire not only for her music but for her person, because she's a person that really stands out for what she believes in. Music, Chants & Rapps
When you talk about 'doing the work', that's the work I'm interested in. What can I contribute as a human being? Work, Workers & The Labor Force
While knowledge may provide useful point of reference, it cannot become a force to guide the future. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Future
Without wisdom, the future has no meaning, no valuable purpose. Future
World peace is no longer some pie-in-the-sky thing, because no single person or country is going to solve it on their own. War & Peace
You can practice to attain knowledge, but you can't practice to attain wisdom. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
You can practice to learn a technique, but I'm more interested in conceiving of something in the moment.
You make different colors by combining those colors that already exist.
You would not exist if you did not have something to bring to the table of life. Life

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