V.S.O.P. / Herbie Hancock

Live Under the Sky

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Herbie Hancock's all-star V.S.O.P. Quintet reunited the Miles Davis group of the mid-'60s (Wayne Shorter on tenor and soprano, pianist Hancock, bassist Ron Carter, and Tony Williams), with trumpeter Freddie Hubbard doing his best to fill Davis' shoes. The Japanese outdoors concert (recorded during a rainstorm) heard on this two-LP set finds the talented players in fine form on extended versions of six group originals (only Williams' "Pee Wee" dates from the Miles Davis years); a Hancock-Shorter duet medley on "Stella by Starlight," and "On Green Dolphin Street" is offered as the encore. Few surprises occur, but it is particularly rewarding to hear Wayne Shorter (after years of being in Weather Report) stretching out again.

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