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"Takin’ Off" (Blue Note BST-84109) marked Herbie Hancock’s fi rst album under his own name. All of the compositions are by the leader, who is backed by such stars as Dexter Gordon, Freddie Hubbard, Butch Warren, and Billy Higgins. The album includes one of Hancock’s best-known compositions, “Watermelon Man,” which made it to the Top 100 on the pop charts. The tune would become a jazz standard, and would be covered by Mongo Santamaria, among others. Renowned jazz critic Leonard Feather stated the following about the LP: “As the fi rst solo album by Herbie Hancock, this record will serve for many listeners as an introduction to the talents of a young and unmistakably promising artist who recently signed an exclusive Blue Note contract.” The complete LP Hub-Tones (BST 84115), which also presents a quintet featuring Hubbard and Hancock, has been added as a bonus.
Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, May 28, 1962.