One of Herbie Hancock's greatest attributes is his ability to take a contemporary form of music and add his own unique perspective through his recordings. Future 2 Future is no exception to the rule. Teaming with Bill Laswell, Hancock recruits some of the most forward-thinking musicians in music for Future 2 Future. The contributions of electronic music pioneer Carl Craig, vocal diva Chaka Khan, drum'n'bass producer A Guy Called Gerald, as well as jazz legends Jack DeJohnette and Wayne Shorter make the album feel like a cross between modern electronica and world music. While a lineup with such immense talent promises the delivery of a powerhouse record, the finished product only delivers the goods moderately. Several pieces produced for the album were almost completed before Hancock contributed keyboards. This production method leaves the record lacking the spontaneity and continuity that grace several of his early electronic-based records and tenure with the Headhunters, to the point of relegating Hancock to the status of session musician on some songs and leaving the listener to wonder what Future 2 Future could have been if a greater sense of creative collaboration/improvisation between Hancock and this all-star cast would have ensued. While this record is most definitely not an album for jazz purists, those with an ear for modern electronic music will find Future 2 Future an enjoyable exercise in watching one of the greats in jazz music redefine himself with the times once again.
Future 2 Future Review
by Rob Theakston