This fall Hancock is touring with a new quartet that includes Gary Thomas on sax and flute, Terri Lynne Carrington on drums, and Scott Colley on bassaccomplished musicians who, like their leader, are comfortable in many styles. Hancock once had a big hit with "Chameleon," a title that well describes his musical attitudes attitudes that make it difficult to predict what we might hear when his quartet comes to the Michigan Theater on Wednesday, November 6. Hancock and Thomas both appear on Carrington's excellent recent release Jazz Is a Spirit, which harkens back to the kind of music Hancock and Wayne Shorter explored in the 1960s, and this may provide some indication that this quartet will work in a similar mode. Musical surprises are hard to come by these days, and it will be interesting to find out what this elusive artist has in store for us.
[Originally published in November, 2002.]