Herbert Jeffrey "Herbie" Hancock (born April 12, 1940) is a famous {{Jazz}} pianist from UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}}, known for being one of the genre's most important musicians and for his NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly style.

A classically-trained pianist, Hancock began his career with the solo album ''Takin' Off'' in 1962, the source of his SignatureSong "Watermelon Man". However, his career really took off once he joined Music/MilesDavis' "second great quintet" a year later, where he stayed until 1968. In the quintet, he developed his signature style and started incorporating elements of rock music (especially towards the end).

After being kicked out of the quintet[[note]]officially for staying too long in Brazil on his honeymoon; the real reasons we can't really guess[[/note]], Hancock restarted his solo career. He proved to be just as experimental and wide-ranging as his mentor Davis, incorporating {{Funk}}, rock and {{Soul}} into his music and becoming the first jazz musician to fully embrace synthesizers and electric keyboards. With his 1973 album ''Music/HeadHunters'', he helped pioneer jazz fusion and obtained another SignatureSong, "Chameleon". He continued to mine that particular vein through ''Thrust'', ''Man-Child'', ''Secrets'' and ''Mr. Hands'' until the 80's, in the meantime still producing acoustic works alongside such giants as Chick Corea.

He moved in a more pop-oriented direction in the late seventies (which is frequently regarded as a SeasonalRot by fans and critics) first with the not quite commercial but very much vocalized ''Sunlight'' (five songs, the three sung ones being respectively 9, 8 and 7 minutes long). He definitely started dabbling the commercial stuff first with ''Feet Don't Fail Me Now'', followed by the Roy Tempterton-autored ''Lite Me Up'' surfing the ill-fated disco-pop wave far too late.

After a short desert walk, he found new life in an electronic-industrial style alongside Bill Laswell in TheEighties, when he relased ''Music/FutureShock'' (1983), which gave him another big hit, "Rockit". This streak lasted for ''Sound System'' and then ''Perfect Machine'', with the usual diminishing returns. After trying his hand again at fusion with the acid jazz infused ''Dis Is Da Drum'' which went largely unnoticed. Since then, he has returned to his more acoustic roots with success as he won a Grammy in 2007 for his album of {{Cover Version}}s ''River: The [[Music/JoniMitchell Joni]] Letters'' as well as several nominations for the similar ''Gershwin's World''.

* ''Music/HeadHunters'' (1973)
* ''Music/FutureShock'' (1983)
* AndNowForSomethingCompletelyDifferent: His 1977 to 1982-era material. The music he put out during that period was filled with generic Disco (1977 to 1980) and even more generic R&B/Post-Disco (1981 to 1982) Some of them even featured vocals, which did not even exist previously. His 1983 album Future Shock also did this, with a more Hip-Hoppy electro feel, and Dis Is Da Drum in 1994 featured Acid Jazz and a Jazz-Hop song with a rap in it.
%%* CoolShades
* CoverVersion: Aside from ''River: The [[Music/JoniMitchell Joni]] Letters'', he's also done a jazz rearrangement of Music/{{Nirvana}}'s "All Apologies".
* DancingPants: "Rockit".
* EpicRocking: In his jazz-fusion era especially. The full version of "Chameleon" is over 15 minutes long, and that's not all.
* GadgeteerGenius: Studied engineering in college and was one of the first jazz musicians to embrace synthesizers. He was also one of the first black musicians to do so, along with Music/StevieWonder and Bernie Worrell.
* SesameStreetCred: Appeared in an episode where he showed off the capabilities of electronic synthesizers.
* ShoutOut: The ''Anime/CowboyBebop'' episode "Speak Like a Child" takes its name from one of Hancock's songs.
* SurrealMusicVideo: "Rockit" and "Autodrive" (both from ''Future Shock'').
* UncommonTime: "Ostinato (Suite for Angela)" on ''Mwandishi'' is in 15/4.