Though Herbie Hancock has the chops to share a stage with Miles Davis and to create such jazz classics as Watermelon Man and Cantaloupe Island, he may forever be remembered for a one-off novelty track called “Rockit”, a song that (along with its groundbreaking video) was all over MTV in the network’s early days.
As cracking a track as Rockit is, it is not indicative of Hancock’s style of electrified jazz. However, it does showcase that he was that rare jazz performer who did not shy away from the wonders of technology.
It received criticism from purists, but Hancock was used to it. He’d gotten the same sort of guff when his Headhunters group crossed the line into pop and funk music in the early ‘70s. Nevertheless, the man’s playing is impeccable.