July 19, 2010 Jimmy Dunne

HERBIE HANCOCK INSPIRES A COLLECTIVE SPIRIT

Here are President Jimmy Dunne’s thoughts on Herbie Hancock’s Imagine Project, in Whole Foods Markets nationwide today.

This month, we’re celebrating the groundbreaking achievements of multi-Grammy-winning jazz legend, Herbie Hancock. His brilliant new collaborative album, The Imagine Project, can be found at Whole Foods Market stores across the nation.

The Imagine Project embodies the unifying power of music— Herbie Hancock travelled around the world to record with the best musicians on the planet, seeking out a central musical “language” that connects us all. He immersed himself in the sounds, tastes, colors and spirit of the native lands of many of the Imagine Project musicians — recording in places like Mumbai, Paris, London and Sao Paulo.

Need I mention that The Imagine Project boasts an all-star cast? With the significant purpose of this album, it’s no surprise that we hear the voices of Dave Matthews, John Legend, Seal, Pink, The Chieftains, Wayne Shorter, James Morrison, Lisa Hannigan, Juanes, K’ Naan, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Ceu, Los Lobos, Anoushka Shankar, K.S. Chitra and many more. However, what’s more impressive is Herbie Hancock’s vision— a message of hope, celebrating diversity.

His interpretation is profound: Herbie Hancock translates the diverse sounds of his collaborators into one fluid, communicative work, interweaving sounds from around the world both within single tracks and spanning across the 10-track album.  The aptly-selected title track, John Lennon’s “Imagine,” leaps from a studio in Paris with Pink and Seal into the heart of the Congo with the percussive traditional group, Konono N°1, collides with the complex textures of legendary guitarist Jeff Beck, and soars with the brilliant voices of R&B singer India Arie and Oumou Sangare.  Heralding in John Lennon’s audacious vision, The Imagine Project journeys through jazz, fusion, latin, celtic, folk, funk, soul, afro-pop, eastern and swampy southern gospel-infused rock, intermingling genres over the mostly classic songs — like “Don’t Give Up” and “A Change Is Gonna Come”— as if to tell us that the song is the medium for us all to come together.  He says it best: “My hope is that the music will serve as a metaphor for the actions taken by the inhabitants of this wonderful planet, as a call for world harmony on all levels.”

May we all realize the unifying, inspiring power of music — a force that extends beyond generations and cultures, connecting us all.  As the final track on The Imagine Project boldly states, “The Song Goes On, Beautiful.”

Herbie Hancock turns 70 this year.  We applaud his visionary artistry and his bright, peacemaking spirit.  Join the celebration!