Herbie Hancock – “Cantaloupe Island”

On this day (June 17) in 1964, pianist Herbie Hancock recorded what would become perhaps his most famous composition ever: “Cantaloupe Island.” The perfect convergence of hard-bop, soul and modal jazz, the song originally appeared on Herbie’s fourth Blue Note album, Empyrean Isles, which featured Hancock in the company of a jazz A-Team: trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Tony Williams. A jam session favorite since its release, the song would find new life nearly 30 years later, when the English jazz-rap group US3 sampled Herbie’s infectiously funky groove for the backing track of their early ’90s hit “Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia).”

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