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Herbie Hancock - Watermelon Man

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Herbie Hancock explains how he composed Watermelon Man and how Mongo Santamaria influenced it. He then performs both the original 1962 and the 1973 Headhunters versions.
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Lesley Moore (1 year ago)
he's talking to Elvis Costello. Interesting interview.
Lim Kaamen (1 year ago)
1962! He was a kid! Yet he did this????????
Lim Kaamen (1 year ago)
One may view it from different angles. However, a true master is always a continuous, eternal learner. When she/he grows older, the foregoing being a fact, then she/he becomes nothing short of a monster. Whether you like jazz or not, because you came her, maybe, just maybe, you might get my point.
Maxine Harper (1 year ago)
lol at 4:47 he's just like "shit was tight."
Daniel Natzke (1 year ago)
LOL. Every single video of a famous jazz pianist giving a talk and playing has them using either a Bosendorfer or a Fazioli.
ax Öllner (1 year ago)
4:40 my favorite part :D
尾崎多津代 (1 year ago)
I can't give you but my love, Hancock!
Flash Gaming (1 year ago)
Explanation ends at 3:53
VILJL (1 year ago)
"Mongo" Santamaría (April 7, 1917 – February 1, 2003) was a rumba quinto master and an Afro-Cuban Latin jazz percussionist. He was an integral figure in the fusion of Afro-Cuban rhythms with R&B and soul, paving the way for the boogaloo era of the late 1960s. His 1963 hit rendition of Herbie Hancock's "Watermelon Man" (recorded on December 17, 1962) was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998.
Gregory Johnson (1 year ago)
i love these creative stories
Mark Cianciolo (1 year ago)
Herbie was a great jazz pianist at an early age. I believe he was playing with Miles as a teenager! With all due respect to Herbie, his rap here is very problematic. I like his back story of how Watermelon Man came about, but I'm reluctant to believe any of it. The most likely scenario is that Herbie was practicing piano one day. Playing around. Improvising. And his fingers hit up a lick and it caught his ear. This happens frequently to musicians. Call it a happy accident. Call it a bonus for all the hours and study that preceded it. Herbie hits on a lick and plays with it, develops it. It has no name. It's just a riff that he digs and it's his own. Over time he shapes it into a composition of five or six minutes. He thinks about it and finally he gives it a name: Watermelon Man. Likewise his rap here is contrived and worked out. As I said I like it but I don't believe it. I like Herbie and I like Watermelon Man but not his shtick.
Gregory Johnson (1 year ago)
man first conguero i ever heard mongo still influenced me today herbie ur right
Cole Privott (1 year ago)
this is awesome
Berkleesaxman (1 year ago)
It is just a real artistic experience to listen to a composer perform his music. This guy is just fantastic...was early in his career and he just keeps getting better all the time!
christopher fischer (1 year ago)
Dude is in his 70s and he doesn't look a day over 45
Matthew Lipschultz (1 year ago)
Happy Birthday, Herbie Hancock!
Alice Li (1 year ago)
who else is here because of school
SELAHPAUSE (1 year ago)
I know he got a million story on the circuit with Miles Davis
Ɀ (1 year ago)
I want to know how Spank-a-Lee was composed, and Paul Jackson's role in the composing process
Maryanna (1 year ago)
J' a d o r e !!!!
Keu Kang (1 year ago)
키보드 장인
Tomasz M (1 year ago)
super wersja !!!
orlanduce (1 year ago)
Chicago, IL struggles has produced so many greats
Randy Oshiro (1 year ago)
for those wondering. its (C# and F) 2 times then B natural then back to (C# and F) back to B natural then end on two Ab
Timothy.bryan Wilson (1 year ago)
one of the greatest. musicians I can think of
Timothy.bryan Wilson (1 year ago)
written in the year I was born !!
Luciano Diaz (1 year ago)
Comienza a los 03:50 8-)
65ANDRE (1 year ago)
I wonder if him and Carlos Santana did any colaborations?
path0610 (1 year ago)
Looks like they've collaborated a lot over the years.  Here's a good one:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9AWL3is7Hs
decuyonombre (1 year ago)
Chano Pozo and Dizzy Gillespie were before https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMipw5NWSZk
John Tatum (1 year ago)
I sho loves me some watermelon, man. The second version was sho nuff funky stuff.
Andy S (1 year ago)
1962 is what I like.....cool!!!!
eric Herbomel (1 year ago)
Jay Rose-Ham (1 year ago)
eric Herbomel superbie
davisismail1comcast (1 year ago)
Roberto Ginsburg (1 year ago)
JAZZ-GUAJIRA. Wow master Herbie!
k diehl (1 year ago)
just awesome!!!!!!
Martin Platt (1 year ago)
Lim Kaamen (1 year ago)
Always off the charts!
Manu Trivedi (1 year ago)
Met the man twice in Bombay! A true giant. Gentle and cool.
Reiko Pf (1 year ago)
I love him Herbie Hancock
mrgeisel (1 year ago)
Great tune, wonderful story and superbly talented musician who never seems to age! This is tremendous...thanks for posting!
John Petrie (1 year ago)
Stephen Stewart (1 year ago)
Who's on set?
Cakan Jankovic (1 year ago)
Velocisaurusman (1 year ago)
I never usually liked Jazz trios until I heard this
RealBro (1 year ago)
Jimmy Figueras (1 year ago)
i had no idea that jazz tunes are created just like any other pop song with the use of imagination, a storyline, etc.
Margaret East (1 year ago)
PJ (1 year ago)
Jimmy Figueras I think if you think about jazz songs you will realize this. Listen to some Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, etc. many jazz songs with lyrics have also been played as instrumentals.
kadijaish (1 year ago)
good instrumental jazz tunes can say a lot more than pop song with plenty of lyrics
Eduardo Faustino (1 year ago)
I can see where Cory got some of his inspiration for the Lingus solo
ETMusic2 (1 year ago)
I was just thinking exactly the same thing!
d jax (1 year ago)
Saw him at UNC, amazing
rick solo (2 years ago)
Just really thinking about Joe Sample and others that have gone on to gig in the heavens.
wesley adair (1 year ago)
rick solo Joe sample was great also I would agree with you on that
23chiffy (2 years ago)
herbie oozes class
Stephen Elkins (2 years ago)
Don't ever pass on a chance to see Herbie Hancock perform. Saw him last year at Weil Hall's Green Music Center on the campus of Sonoma State. An awesome show. He loves to share the story behind the music.
iPoopWhereIWant (2 years ago)
"World Music" ........LOL
Yurgen Murgens (2 years ago)
Wow I forgot s bout abott presley
bobdahoople (2 years ago)
John Battaglia (2 years ago)
What a cool cat.
Jeffrey Lebowski (2 years ago)
Does he say "nuff said" at the very beginning? xD
Benita Brown (2 years ago)
Happy 76th Birthday Herbie Hancock!
Danlikesyou (2 years ago)
This made me sway and as an added bonus, it made me happy!
zedster911 (2 years ago)
Always wonder if musicians like Herbie, can just play a tune automatically or do they need to practice....
steve lindsey (2 years ago)
Christi Petry (2 years ago)
Elvis Costello had a music show?
path0610 (2 years ago)
+Christi Petry He had the show, Spectacle, from 2008 to 2010. The dvds are on Netflix.
Bill R (2 years ago)
It is so much fun to enjoy pure genius, even if it is a recording. Thanks Mr. Hancock for wonderful music over the many years!
This is the greatest trio I have ever seen by far, Absoloutly fabulous interpretation of this great tune
darekkwasny (2 years ago)
ooooooooooooo yes :)
Muhammad Smith (2 years ago)
Micael Williams (2 years ago)
Great song but the version from head hunters is my favorite
ERIC ROBINSON (2 years ago)
This brother is still awesome. Can still play the heck out of that song "Watermelon Man". Got the chance to catch him in concert some 6 years ago and he threw down. This interview here with Elvis Costello was quite insightful.
Gava Greg (2 years ago)
...so good mister hancock !!!
Allesnik (2 years ago)
frig GENIUS :p
TheEndTrend (2 years ago)
He makes that Korg freakin' SING!!
saveasav1 (2 years ago)
Thanks for sharing. Always good to know the backstory of a classic tune. And who better than from the composer itself.
William Cox (2 years ago)
Pretty interesting stuff. Thanks for posting!
j0c0b (2 years ago)
Christian McBride on bass ?
K Jones (2 years ago)
+j0c0b Definitely!!!
Karriem Riggins!
Petar Steinberg (2 years ago)
This man is a god.
Lim Kaamen (1 year ago)
+Petar Steinberg Thank you! You certainly get what I could never, possibly find English words to express. Only our ancestors, deep down in Africa, at the very least back 5,000 years ago, can find words to explain what Herbie Hancock is doing here. I don't think he himself has a clue what he is doing. I know for a fact that our ancestors chose him to convey a message we still need to sort out and understand!!!
Almshouse Philly (2 years ago)
+Petar Steinberg In total accord!!!
Karl Beasley (2 years ago)
Those riffs are SICK! The WB All Stars also did a version of this song that is sweet. I've been trying to find it for quite some time. It's on the Smooth Jazz 2000 Compilation Summer Of Love CD. Can anybody help me?
TenroTv10x (2 years ago)
He's the best of the best
Dave Strong (2 years ago)
Excellent clip - thanks! I've always adored Hancock and this extrapolation of Watermelon Man is amazing. He's a genius: erudite, brave, innovative and unique.
Luke Conklin (2 years ago)
Christian McBride laying down a SERIOUS groove here!
Oildup llc (2 years ago)
+Luke Conklin Super Dope... Honestly made the entire thing groove...
Lucas Luraka (3 years ago)
I would have preferred to hear another kind of sound of synth trumpet (preferably analog) and a real vintage clavinet!  that'd would be awesome. not a big fan of those digital cheesy modern synth sounds. but very well played, respect :)
PaulRx4 (3 years ago)
Great Jazz!  always a favorite.
Thiago Guedes Willecke (3 years ago)
Does anyone here now the synth name at 5:46? Man, I have to find it!
Dr Goebbels (1 year ago)
Thiago Guedes Willecke yes it was nick valentine
TheEndTrend (2 years ago)
...I was thinking of the SynClavier
TheEndTrend (2 years ago)
Yes, you're right. 
F0nkyNinja (2 years ago)
+TheEndTrend Clav is short for Hohner Clavinet, not Clavier.
TheEndTrend (2 years ago)
+Thiago Guedes Willecke The sound is kind of a filtered clav (aka clavier) to my ear, if that's what you were asking about. The make/model can been seen in the video and is a KORG Oasys, as F0nkyNinja pointed out.
Aunt Betty (3 years ago)
Never get tired of this song...Like the story too...
Charles Telerant (3 years ago)
Paul Kitas (3 years ago)
Herbie is not a piano player, he is a genius. Just takes it out on keyboards. I am totally amazed on how he thinks about music and his projects he has done in the last 20yrs
Enoch O'Hare (3 years ago)
A stone cold groove, daddio!
UKISOCIETY (3 years ago)
Quite possibly my favorite composition.
Carol P (3 years ago)
Dig that groove
Ken Chawkin (3 years ago)
From watermelon to cantalope on this one: US3 - Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia) http://youtu.be/JwBjhBL9G6U.
Barakx8 (3 years ago)
I lived the Chicago experience and I have to tell you, it isn't a "Black" experience, it is a childhood cherished memory.  The man sang, "WAAATerrrMellllllons".  I'm not disputing Herbie's memories, just saying that caucasian people can and do share these great experiences.  Many of us old guys lived and enjoyed the play in the alleys, when life was safer and all the guns were in either the army or the mafia.
He's one of my all time favorite Piano Players. Like Erroll Garner too :-) 
Raymonde Sherman (3 years ago)
jesus I hate kindle keyboard.I meant to say that I love this tune.
Raymonde Sherman (3 years ago)
master at worko e tat tune ????????????
MrBelievenman (3 years ago)
Who is thw drummer?
Kyle Pitcher (3 years ago)
Damn! This group is so good! Does anyone know the name of the bassist and drummer?
samluit (3 years ago)
+Kyle Pitcher Cristian McBride on bass and Karriem Riggins on the drums.
ThePrenian (3 years ago)
I know that the bassist is Cristian Mcbride,a great musician who worked with many others artists like Sting
ArtovolpiProd (3 years ago)
JohnECommon (3 years ago)
Mr. Hancock is a Master, and the world benefits from his existence.
adam stevenson (3 years ago)
Who is that on bass and drums? Some serious groove....
Hr. Kvist (3 years ago)
Pretty sure it's Christian McBride on bass
adam stevenson (3 years ago)
Will do. Cheers man
colafass (3 years ago)
No problem, Ive seen him live. Insane experience... You should check out his trio 
adam stevenson (3 years ago)
Thank you, colafass :)
colafass (3 years ago)
On drums im not sure but on bass its Christian McBride
Anna Davies (3 years ago)
Hi +path0610 do you know what show this interview was on? Or when? I would like to source it in an essay. Thanks.
path0610 (3 years ago)
This is from the 2008 season of the show "Spectacle:  Elvis Costello" that was originally on the Sundance Channel.

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