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Dis Is Da Drum
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Performer Notes
  • Personnel includes: Herbie Hancock (piano, Clavinet, synthesizer, background vocals); Wah Wah Watson (vocals, guitar, programming); Lazaro Galaragga (vocals, bata drum); Will "Roc" Griffin (rap vocals, keyboards, samples, programming, loops); Bennie Maupin (tenor saxophone); Wallace Roney (trumpet); Hubert Laws (flute); Darrell Smith (electric piano, Clavinet, keyboards, synthesizer, programming, background vocals); Mars Lasar (keyboards, synthesizer); Aramand Sebal Leco (bass); Will Kennedy (drums); Bill Summers (congas, bata drum, djembe, jun jun, berimbau, cabasa, tambourine, shekere, bell, percussion, background vocals); Munyungo Jackson (djembe); Airto Moreira (percussion).
  • Producers: Herbie Hancock, Bill Summers, Will "Roc" Griffin.
  • Engineers include: Herbie Hancock, Darrell "Bob Dog" Robertson, Darrell Smith.
  • Principally recorded at Garage Sale Studios, Los Angeles, California.
  • DIS IS DA DRUM marks Herbie Hancock's return to the heady mix of pan-ethnic dance rhythms and techno stylings that culminated on his commercial breakthrough, FUTURE SHOCK. But Hancock's slick, soulful Mercury debut also serves to reclaim his turf from all the acid jazz funkateers who've devised a popular commercial style based on aspects (sampled or otherwise) of the Blue Note and CTI recordings which Hancock and his contemporaries originated a generation ago.
  • DIS IS DA DRUM has a fresh, contemporary appeal, but much of the groundwork for Hancock's current style is derived from his 1982 hit "Rockit," his '70s Headhunters hits ("Chameleon" and THRUST), the Afro-psychedelic free jazz experiments of Mwalandishi, and early-'60s hard bop/soul jazz hits such as "Watermelon Man." True, he came to renown as a post-modernist piano innovator with Miles Davis; but make no mistake, Herbie Hancock has always been funky.
  • "Call It '94" invokes Clyde Stubblefield's much sampled "Funky Drummer" beat, and by adding orchestral adornments, sampled percussion and a taste of jazz piano, zeroes in on a personal hip-hop/jazz style. Tunes such as "Dis Is Da Drum," "Mojuba" and "Ju Ju" employ extensive samples of African singers and percussion instruments, non-tempered keyboards, plus dub and funk bass coupled to dance-style backbeats, to fuse traditional folk colors and contemporary R&B. "The Melody" combines rap and acid jazz, while "Butterfly" revisits his classic ballad of yore with attractive flute work and atmospheric chording. And while tunes such as "Rubber Soul" and "Bo Ba Be Da" redraw the parameters between sampled grooves and jazz feeling, "Hump" and "Come And See Me" italicize Hancock's mastery of the modern funk idiom.
Professional Reviews
Entertainment Weekly (5/5/95, p.71) - "...this is a funkified, friendly affair, less gritty and musically deeper than a lot of what goes down in this world..." - Rating: A-

Musician (8/95, p.86) - "...Hancock has carved a niche for himself where he can remain contemporary, while reclaiming the so-called acid jazz turf from the new jack crowd....[the] range of samples and percussive colors suggests the pop sheen of some contemporary African sources..."
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