Maiden Voyage (Herbie Hancock album)

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Maiden Voyage
Studio album by
RecordedMarch 17, 1965
StudioVan Gelder Studio
Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
GenreModal jazz, post-bop
LabelBlue Note
ProducerAlfred Lion
Herbie Hancock chronology
Empyrean Isles
Maiden Voyage
Professional ratings
Review scores
Penguin Guide to Jazz👑[2]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide[3]

Maiden Voyage is the fifth album led by jazz musician Herbie Hancock, and was recorded by Rudy Van Gelder on March 17, 1965, for Blue Note Records. It was issued as BLP 4195 and BST 84195. Featuring Hancock with tenor saxophonist George Coleman, trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Tony Williams, it is a concept album aimed at creating an oceanic atmosphere. As such, many of the track titles refer to marine biology or the sea, and the musicians develop the concept through their use of space.[4][5] The album was presented with the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1999.


Coleman, Carter, Williams and Hancock himself were all recently a part of the Miles Davis quintet.

According to Bob Blumenthal's 1999 liner notes: "Blue Note logs indicate that an attempt had been made to record 'Maiden Voyage', 'Little One', and 'Dolphin Dance' six days earlier, with Hubbard on cornet and Stu Martin in place of Williams. Those performances were rejected at the time and have been lost in the ensuing years." A different version of "Little One" was recorded by Miles Davis and his quintet (by then including Wayne Shorter instead of Coleman) for the album E.S.P., also released in 1965.

Hancock cites Count Basie's "Shiny Stockings" as the main source of inspiration for "Dolphin Dance".[6]


The Penguin Guide to Jazz designated the album as part of its Core Collection with a four star rating, calling it "a colossal achievement from a man still just 24 years old".[7] Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic describes the album as "arguably his finest record of the '60s, reaching a perfect balance between accessible, lyrical jazz and chance-taking hard bop".[8]


"Maiden Voyage", "The Eye of the Hurricane" and "Dolphin Dance" have become jazz standards and are featured in Hal Leonard's New Real Book vol. 2. While being interviewed for KCET in 2011, Hancock said he considered "Maiden Voyage" to be his favorite of all of the compositions he had written.[9] During an interview on KTLA in 2020, the composer told Frank Buckley that he originally wrote the tune for a television commercial. Hancock was the pianist on another version of "Maiden Voyage" for Bobby Hutcherson's album Happenings which was recorded in February 1966. Hancock rerecorded "Maiden Voyage" and "Dolphin Dance" on his 1974 album Dedication and updated the title track on his 1988 album Perfect Machine. "Dolphin Dance" was rerecorded in 1981 for the Herbie Hancock Trio album. Hancock has released live concert versions of "Maiden Voyage" on CoreaHancock (1979) and An Evening With Herbie Hancock & Chick Corea: In Concert (1980) (both with Chick Corea). Hancock recorded "Maiden Voyage" and "Eye of the Hurricane" with the VSOP Quintet on VSOP: Tempest in the Colosseum (1977).

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Herbie Hancock

Side one
1."Maiden Voyage"7:53
2."The Eye of the Hurricane"5:57
3."Little One"8:43
Side two
4."Survival of the Fittest"9:59
5."Dolphin Dance"9:16
Total length:42:20


Cover versions[edit]

Artists who have covered "Maiden Voyage", the title track, include:

Artists who have covered "Dolphin Dance" include:

Other covers include:

  • Christian McBride, Nicholas Payton, and Mark Whitfield recorded a version of "The Eye of the Hurricane" on their 1997 album Fingerpainting: The Music of Herbie Hancock.
  • Madlib remixed "Dolphin Dance" and combined it with the song "Peace" by Horace Silver on his 2003 album Shades of Blue.
  • In 2008, jazz pianist John Beasley released a tribute to Hancock called Letter to Herbie, which features a re-working of "Maiden Voyage" called "Bedtime Voyage". The album also features a recording of "Eye of the Hurricane".


Chart performance for Maiden Voyage
Chart (2021) Peak
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[16] 150
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[17] 168
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[18] 89

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (2011). "Maiden Voyage - Herbie Hancock | AllMusic". Retrieved 26 June 2011.
  2. ^ "Penguin Guide to Jazz: 4-Star Records in 8th Edition". Tom Hull. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  3. ^ Swenson, J., ed. (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 93. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.
  4. ^ Wendell, Eric. (2018). Experiencing Herbie Hancock. Rowman & Littlefield. p.32. ISBN 9781442258389.
  5. ^ Hancock, H. (1965). Original Album Liner Notes; Blumenthal, B. (1999). Reissue Album Liner Notes.
  6. ^ "Herbie Hancock: The Ethics of Jazz". Mahindra Humanities Center, Harvard University, accessed via YouTube. Retrieved 16 February 2017.
  7. ^ Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (2002). The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD (6th Ed.) Penguin Books. ISBN 9780140515213
  8. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (2011). "Maiden Voyage - Herbie Hancock | AllMusic". Retrieved 13 May 2013.
  9. ^ KCET
  10. ^ "Befour - Brian Auger & the Trinity". AllMusic.
  11. ^ "Gary Boyle - The Dancer". Discogs. Retrieved 2020-12-18.
  12. ^ Allmusic review of Mood
  13. ^ "Austin Peralta - Maiden Voyage". AllMusic. Retrieved 2021-02-24.
  14. ^ Countdown - Joey Alexander | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic, retrieved 2021-09-10
  15. ^ Allmusic review of The Awakening
  16. ^ " – Herbie Hancock – Maiden Voyage" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved October 3, 2021.
  17. ^ " – Herbie Hancock – Maiden Voyage" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved October 3, 2021.
  18. ^ " – Herbie Hancock – Maiden Voyage". Hung Medien. Retrieved October 4, 2021.