|Studio album by|
Wally Heider Recording Studio C, San Francisco
|Genre||Avant-garde jazz, jazz fusion, free jazz|
|Herbie Hancock chronology|
|The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide|||
|The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings|||
This album is one of Hancock's first departures from the traditional idioms of jazz, as well as the beginning of an original and creative style which eventually appealed to a wider audience, e.g. in his 1973 album Head Hunters. In addition, Mwandishi was Hancock's attempt at continuing the musical principles and styles he explored in his previous experiences with Miles Davis, e.g. on In A Silent Way. Hancock's previous explorations of jazz fusion included Fat Albert Rotunda, an album related to a TV special featuring the character and phrase ‘’Hey, Hey, Hey, It's Fat Albert’’; this TV special later inspired Bill Cosby's Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids.
Mwandishi was recorded at Wally Heider Recording Studios, in San Francisco, California in January 1971, by Hancock's Mwandishi Sextet. The recording incorporated progressive notions of funk, jazz, and rock.
The tracks on Mwandishi include "Ostinato," the time signature of which is 15/8, "You'll Know When You Get There," and "Wandering Spirit Song." "Wandering Spirit Song" features Hancock's extensive use of tension and release, in which he builds the tension of the song by crescendos and an increasing number of musical voices, and then releases the tension with long held chords on his synthesizer.
Mwandishi ("composer") is the Swahili name Hancock adopted during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The members of the Sextet each adopted a Swahili name: Mchezaji ("player," someone who plays a game) for Buster Williams, Jabali ("strong as a rock") for Billy Hart, Mganga ("doctor," whose traditional functions include exorcism, prophecy, and the removal of spells) for Eddie Henderson, Mwile ("body", from Swahili mwili) for Bennie Maupin, Pepo Mtoto ("demon baby") for Julian Priester, and Ndugu ("brother") for Leon Chancler.
All songs composed by Herbie Hancock except where noted.
|1.||"Ostinato (Suite for Angela)"||13:10|
|2.||"You'll Know When You Get There"||10:22|
|3.||"Wandering Spirit Song"||Julian Priester||21:26|
- Mwandishi / Herbie Hancock – Fender Rhodes piano
- Mchezaji / Buster Williams – bass
- Jabali / Billy Hart – drums
- Mganga / Eddie Henderson – trumpet, flugelhorn
- Mwile / Bennie Maupin – bass clarinet, alto flute, piccolo
- Pepo Mtoto / Julian Priester – tenor trombone, bass trombone
- Leon "Ndugu" Chancler – drums and percussion on "Ostinato (Suite For Angela)"
- José "Chepito" Areas – congas and timbales on "Ostinato (Suite For Angela)"
- Ronnie Montrose – guitar on "Ostinato (Suite For Angela)"
- Billboard Mar 20, 1971
- Mwandishi at AllMusic
- Swenson, J., ed. (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 94. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.
- Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (2008). The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings (9th ed.). Penguin. p. 641. ISBN 978-0-141-03401-0. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)