Instead of blathering on about this excellent disc myself, I’ll let AllMusic Guide’s Richard Ginell take it from here:
Centered around some soundtrack music that Herbie Hancock wrote for Bill Cosby’s Fat Albert cartoon show, Fat Albert Rotunda was Hancock’s first full-fledged venture into jazz-funk — and his last until Head Hunters — making it a prophetic release. At the same time, it was far different in sound from his later funk ventures, concentrating on a romping, late-’60s-vintage R&B-oriented sound. with frequent horn riffs and great rhythmic comping and complex solos from Hancock’s Fender Rhodes electric piano.
The sextet on hand is a star-studded bunch, with Joe Henderson in funky and free moods on tenor sax, Johnny Coles on trumpet, Garnett Brown on trombone, Buster Williams on bass, and Albert “Tootie” Heath on drums. Only Williams would remain for Hancock’s 1977 electric V.S.O.P.: The Quintet album to come. In addition, trumpeter Joe Newman, saxophonist Joe Farrell, guitarist Eric Gale, and drummer Bernard Purdie make guest appearances on two tracks.
Yeah, right on!
- Jazz great Herbie Hancock a UN culture ambassador (seattletimes.nwsource.com)