Ramsey Lewis plays Herbie Hancock

Ramsey Lewis' Maiden Voyage

Ramsey Lewis plays Herbie Hancock’s Maiden Voyage.

Ramsey Lewis plays his beautiful rendition of perhaps Herbie Hancock’s greatest composition, Maiden Voyage. With Cleveland Eaton on bass, Maurice White (vocalist from Earth Wind and Fire) on drums, and Minnie Ripperton on backing vocals.

Maiden Voyage” is a jazz composition by Herbie Hancock from his 1965 album Maiden Voyage.

A modal jazz piece, the composition follows a 32-bar AABA form with only two chords in each section:

Am7/D   |   |   |   |   Cm7/F    |   |   |
Am7/D   |   |   |   |   Cm7/F    |   |   |
Bbm7/Eb |   |   |   |   C#m9     |   |   |
Am7/D   |   |   |   |   Cm7/F    |   |   | 

The chord voicings used by Hancock make extensive use of perfect fourths. Jazz.com’s Ted Gioia describes the harmonic progression used as, “four suspended chords,” Jerry Coker describes the progression as “only sus. 4 chords,” while The Real Book lists the chords as four minor seventh chords with the bass note a fifth below the root which matches Hancock’s description of the opening chord. The Real Book also spells the fourth chord (mm.22-24) as A-7/D, while Owens spells it Cmi13. The pitches of Cmi9 (ninth chord) are C E G B D and the pitches of A-7/D enharmonically, and Cmi13 (thirteenth chord), are C G B D F (A).

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