V.S.O.P.: Live Under the Sky

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Herbie Hancock's V.S.O.P. project with his former bandmates from the Miles Davis Quintet -- Ron Carter, Wayne Shorter, Tony Williams -- and trumpeter Freddie Hubbard was a band that almost single-handedly tried to re-establish acoustic jazz in the United States. And though they made three recordings, all of which were favorably reviewed and heralded by true jazz fans, none of them sold very well, and the band could find few gigs in the United States. The 1978 tour of major cities was thought to be a triumph at the time, but the unit could find few gigs afterward, and so its various members all went back to their other projects. In 1979, they got the opportunity to tour Japan...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Herbie Hancock's V.S.O.P. project with his former bandmates from the Miles Davis Quintet -- Ron Carter, Wayne Shorter, Tony Williams -- and trumpeter Freddie Hubbard was a band that almost single-handedly tried to re-establish acoustic jazz in the United States. And though they made three recordings, all of which were favorably reviewed and heralded by true jazz fans, none of them sold very well, and the band could find few gigs in the United States. The 1978 tour of major cities was thought to be a triumph at the time, but the unit could find few gigs afterward, and so its various members all went back to their other projects. In 1979, they got the opportunity to tour Japan and jumped at the chance. Sony, Hancock's Japanese label, recorded the two evenings, and the first, which took place during a furious rainstorm, was broadcast live on national television! Live Under the Sky marks the first time that this album has been available in the United States in any form. The original album featured eight cuts, and was minus the set's opener, "Eye of the Hurricane." That has been remedied with the 2004 reissue, and in addition, Legacy, in its usual fine manner, has added as a bonus the entire second night concert on a second disc with encores, making this a complete historical document of one of the most exciting jazz concerts of the late '70s, and a high-water mark in each of the participant's catalogs. The sound on these CDs is so stellar, listeners can even hear the rain as it pours from the sky. What is notable is that despite working in many different contexts during the '70s, these players took the "free bop" they developed with Davis and kept it close to their hearts. Freddie Hubbard is a muscular addition to this group, and on "Eye of the Hurricane" gets his initiation rite from Williams, who pushes him to the breaking point. Hubbard rises to an entirely new level of improvisational expression, and listeners witness the transition -- one has to wonder why this was left off the LP! All members of the unit are represented as composers. Williams' "Para Oriente" and "Pee Wee" are high points as is Hancock's "Domo" and Carter's moving "Tear Drop." Hubbard weighs in with the beautiful and spacy hard bop "One of Another Kind" as well. The second night's show was even more incendiary than the first, and the band took to the rafters with its intensity, laying an identical set. This is enigmatic, fiery jazz that is full of surprises, elegance, attitude, and brilliant chops. Highly recommended.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/21/2004
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 696998716520
  • Catalog Number: 87165
  • Sales rank: 55,791

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Opening (0:46)
  2. 2 Eye of the Hurricane (7:48)
  3. 3 Tear Drop (10:34)
  4. 4 Domo (12:35)
  5. 5 Para Oriente (7:28)
  6. 6 Pee Wee (8:12)
  7. 7 One of Another Kind (20:48)
  8. 8 Fragile (9:40)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Opening (0:23)
  2. 2 Eye of the Hurricane (11:25)
  3. 3 Tear Drop (9:13)
  4. 4 Domo (11:41)
  5. 5 Para Oriente (6:51)
  6. 6 Pee Wee (6:27)
  7. 7 One of Another Kind (14:45)
  8. 8 Fragile (8:32)
  9. 9 Stella by Starlight (4:45)
  10. 10 On Green Dolphin Street (2:17)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Herbie Hancock Primary Artist, Piano
Ron Carter Bass, Double Bass
Wayne Shorter Tenor Saxophone
Tony Williams Drums
Freddie Hubbard Trumpet
Tony Ruption Williams Drums
Technical Credits
Bob Belden Liner Notes, Reissue Producer
Ron Carter Composer
Herbie Hancock Composer, Liner Notes
Tony Williams Composer
Bronislaw Kaper Composer
Freddie Hubbard Composer
David Rubinson Producer, Reissue Producer, Audio Production
Ned Washington Composer
Mark Wilder Mastering
Victor Young Composer
Randall Martin Reissue Design
Seth Foster Mastering
Peter Kszan Packaging Manager
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