Jazz star Herbie Hancock goes global with album

Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:23pm EST
 
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Jazz icon Herbie Hancock has rounded up another all-star cast for the multimedia follow-up to his Grammy-winning tribute to Joni Mitchell.

"The Imagine Project" aims to unite "a myriad of cultures through song and positive creative expression," according to a statement. Collaborators include pop singer Pink, guitarist Jeff Beck, sitarist Anoushka Shankar, Irish folk group the Chieftains and Colombian rocker Juanes.

The self-financed album will be released on June 22 through the pianist's own Hancock Records label, and will be promoted with what a spokeswoman called an "extensive" world tour. Dates are already set for New York's Carnegie Hall on June 24 and the Hollywood Bowl on September 1.

Hancock racked up some serious frequent-flier mileage in an attempt to record each song in the home country of his collaborator. Oscar-winning documentarian Alex Gibney ("Taxi To The Dark Side") came along for the ride, shooting footage for potential online and feature exhibition.

He traveled to Mumbai for the Shankar track "The Song Goes On," which also features R&B singer Chaka Khan, jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter and a group of Indian musicians.

Hancock and Shorter reunited in London to record a cover of Peter Gabriel's "Don't Give Up" with Beck, Pink and Seal. Other stops included Paris for sessions with Beck and African musicians Tinariwen, Oumou Sangare, Lionel Louke and Kinono No. 1; Dublin with the Chieftains; Miami with Juanes; and Sao Paulo with Brazilian singer Ceu.

Rocker Dave Matthews, and married blues guitarists Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi were also recruited.

Hancock, who turns 70 in April, was the surprise winner of the album of the year Grammy in 2008 for "River: The Joni Letters," a relatively unheralded release whose roster included Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Tina Turner, Corinne Bailey Rae, Luciana Souza, and Shankar's half-sister Norah Jones.

(Reporting by Dean Goodman; Editing by Jill Serjeant)