“Thrust,” Herbie Hancock, 1974

The work begins with a solo heavy drum beat and later an electronic instrument enters. The song takes a funky turn with the introduction of even more instruments. There are a few elements in this work that make it sounds  a great deal like the Fat Albert tune. An ostinato tune begins to work as the accompaniment to the solo keyboard.



This song is closely related to the Motown music of the day, with its funky RnB feel. The work has a walking bass line feel and a great trumpet phrases. This tune is the epitome of what many believe to be funky 1970s music. I quite like the synthesized solo in this piece because it’s not too out of this world but still maintains a creative feel.  The mood of the song changes near the end to a more modern rock-jazz feel with the addition of more synthesized instruments and the faster rhythm. Near the end the mood changes back to how it began, with the Motown RnB funky feel. The only difference the return to the tune is much faster than in the beginning.

Sextant, “Raindance” and “Shadows,” 1973


The beginning of this sounds a great deal like the electronic music of the 1990s and of today.  It has a bubbly science lab sound too it. The song could be categorized as technical sounds rather than music until the trumpet solo begins. The trumpet has a somewhat musical feel and leads the band into an even more extreme state of experimentation. The bass solo is quite unique in that many of the past songs discussed, did not feature a bass solo. The bass solo is great and adds to the unique and unorthodox piece of music. This song features an ostinato pattern by a synthesized instrument and over top is another cresendoing synthesized instrument that is hardly recognizable as a modern day instrument.


This song is much more down to the earth than “Raindance.” Though there are strange synthesized elements that give a spacey feel, the bass and drums makes the tune feel more like an earthy song. Like the last song, the bass does play an ostinato pattern to keep the rhythm alive.

“Mwandishi,” Herbie Hancock, 1971

This song is also known as (“Ostinato” or “Suite for Angela”). It begins with a very futuristic and trippy feel. There is an electric piano, bells, and various instruments that act as the accompaniment to the bassoon that begins to play an ostinato bass pattern. The main trumpet solo sounds a great deal like the Davis solos from the 1960s-70s. There are various fast notes in the solo that don’t exactly fit with the main melody, but it does show off the virtuosic ability and creativity of the soloist. Herbie’s solo on the piano better fits the main melody than the previous solo. In his solo he experiments with the synthesizer and shows off his creative spirit. The ending ostinato melody, is without a doubt an ostinato, the pattern goes on for a quite a long time and I fear for the fingers of the musician required to play the ostinato pattern (repeated patterns causes the hand to tire and stiffen, making the pattern a bit painful to play after a while)>

“Fat Albert Rotunda,” Herbie Hancock, 1969

This song greatly fits the show “Fat Albert.” The cool fast beat definitely works as a connotation for the fast pace city life. The piano solo in this work is great. The solo does not deviate from the original melody too severely, keeping the audience aware of the artist’s general path and direction. The solo its self features many chords and fast notes and is very melodic. The saxophone solo is similar to the piano solo in that it is virtuosic and has a clear direction.

“Speak like a Child,” Herbie Hancock, 1968

This song begins with a “cool jazz” feel. There is a soft drum rhythm, sustained note from the trumpet, and piano patterns. The piano uses both legato and staccato techniques in its melody, while maintaining an overall soft tone. The bass is quite pronounced and greatly adds to the “cool jazz” feel of the song. It is quite hard to understand where the song name originates. Possibly, because of the softness of the musicians is meant to symbolize the softness of a child voice and their inner innocence. This song reminds me of modern tunes like the elevator music in France or the Charlie Brown soundtrack, which were probably influenced by tunes such as this.