- 1Hang Up Your Hang Ups03:20
- 3Tell Me A Bedtime Story04:47
- 4Actual Proof03:03
- 5Cantaloupe Island04:03
- 7Dolphin Dance04:30
- 8Watermelon Man05:03
- 9Come Running To Me04:40
- 10Voyage Maiden03:45
- 12Speak Like A Child03:09
- 13Homage to HH04:08
- 14One Finger Snap03:07
Info for HH
His new album, HH, released on Edition Records in Oct 2020, is a pivotal album in his already fascinating journey from humble roots to international stardom. Over the last two decades, he has worked tirelessly as a sideman and guitarist for hire. This is his opportunity to stand at the forefront and shine on his own, very special project.
Performing music from his mentor and legendary musician Herbie Hancock, this album is hugely personal for Loueke. It was in 2001 that Herbie, along with Terence Blanchard and Wayne Shorter, selected Lionel for a place at the famed Monk Institute as well as, later in 2005, asking him to join the band.
Reworking Herbie’s best-known compositions (including Cantaloupe Island, Watermelon Man and Rock It) as well as lesser-known works, Loueke has stamped his personal sound and individual genius, and deep knowledge accrued at first hand whilst being on the road with Herbie on this great body of work.
This album is as much a dedication as a personal tribute to a musician that has changed the face of this music. It’s a hugely compelling and uniquely individual take on music that has been hugely influential to musicians of all styles and genres. You’ll not hear versions of these great songs so original and beautiful, immersed in the primary inspiration of the composer.
Unique is a word that is overused when describing artists, but Lionel Loueke’s personal journey and artistic development is so singular that there is no other way of describing him. HH is an album that lives up to this artist’s unique talent. It’s simply breathtaking.
Known for his ability to “transform the guitar into a virtual Afro-Western orchestra” (Jazz Times), Lionel Loueke is a musician who transcends genre to create unparalleled sounds. In a deeply personal tribute, Lionel takes Herbie’s best-known compositions (including Cantaloupe Island, Watermelon Man and Rock It), and creates something entirely fresh and new.
“I have been playing with The Master Herbie Hancock for more than 15 years, and still it wasn’t easy to work on his music because the originals are already so beautiful and he keeps developing them every time we play on stage. The challenge was to put my own imprints on these masterpieces. To rethink them with my touch on it. He is my mentor and I feel very lucky to be part of his musical journey. It’s a gift to learn that much from him – humanly, spiritually and musically speaking.
Being from Benin in West Africa, I carry in my playing the curve of my life. As we are going through a rough time, with the Coronavirus pandemic, I can say that Love, Humanity, Spirituality and Music give me Freedom and Hope on a daily basis – and those are lessons I learnt from Herbie. This project is beyond music in other words. It was a need for me to play his music.”
Lionel Loueke, guitar, vocals
Recorded 13th-15th February 2019 by Stefano Amerio at Artesuono produzioni musicali & recording studios Cavalicco, Udine, Italy
Mixed and mastered by Dave Darlington at Bass Hit Recording, New York, 15th March 2019
picked up the guitar late at age 17. After his initial to exposure to jazz in Benin, he left to attend the National Institute of Art in Ivory Coast. In 1994 he left Africa to pursue jazz studies at the American School of Modern Music in Paris then came to the U.S. on a scholarship to the Berklee College of Music where he first encountered his future trio mates Massimo Biolcati and Ferenc Nemeth. After graduating Loueke was accepted to the Thelonious Monk Institute where he was able to study with his most significant mentors: Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Terence Blanchard.
Praised by Hancock as “a musical painter,” Loueke combines harmonic complexity, soaring melody, a deep knowledge of African folk forms, and conventional and extended guitar techniques to create a warm and evocative sound of his own. His Blue Note debut Karibu (2008) featured guest appearances from Hancock and Shorter with his trio and was met with wide acclaim. Mwaliko (2010) offered a series of intimate duets with Angelique Kidjo, Richard Bona, Esperanza Spalding and Marcus Gilmore. Heritage (2012) was co-produced by label mate Robert Glasper and found Loueke exploring a more electric sound with a new trio featuring Derrick Hodge on electric bass and Mark Guiliana on drums.
In addition to albums with his collective trio Gilfema with Biolcati and Nemeth, Loueke has appeared on recordings by Hancock, Blanchard, Jack DeJohnette, Charlie Haden, Kenny Barron, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, and Joe Lovano, as well as contemporaries including Spalding, Gretchen Parlato, Kendrick Scott and others. He has also toured the world with Hancock and is a member of Blue Note’s 75th anniversary all-star band with Glasper, Hodge, Scott, Ambrose Akinmusire and Marcus Strickland.
This album contains no booklet.