A genius on the piano before he was out of high school, Herbie Hancock defected to jazz when the lure of improvisation ensnared him. Starting out with the famous Miles Davis Quintet opened him right up musically, and this later combined with his background in electrical engineering to push him into being one of the early pioneers of blending electronic music and Jazz. For Hancock, maths is a lynchpin holding sound and engineering together. His early eighties hit 'Rockit' bestrode the style of We Are the Robots and formative hip hop. For two nights in May, he'll bring these twin expertise to the Opera House stage.
Most artists find themselves a bit cowed playing our most famous venue. With Hancock, the House probably feels a bit more overwhelmed by Herbie than he is by it. This tour he brings a new band, mixing his older classics with songs from recent album the Imagine Project. The disc is a meditation on the theme of music as a unviersal language, and includes guests Chakha Khan, Jeff Beck and the Cheiftains. With talent like that lining up to work with him, it's hard to understate Hancock's stature. Old tracks or new, he's a hard act to top.