Herbie Hancock ‎– Empyrean Isles

Blue Note ‎– BLP 4175
Vinyl, LP, Album, Mono

Companies, etc.



Recorded on June 17, 1964.

1st original Mono issue has:
- blue/white Blue Note Records Inc - New York Usa labels, deep groove only on side A,
- Van Gelder stamped in the dead wax, both sides,
- "P" (otherwise wrongly called "ear") for Plastylite etched in the trail off, both sides,
- non laminated jacket,
- 43 West 61st St., New York 23 address on back cover

Other Versions (5 of 49) View All

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
TYCJ-81020 Herbie Hancock Empyrean Isles(CD, Album, RE, RM, SHM) Blue Note TYCJ-81020 Japan 2013 Sell This Version
MMBST-84175, BST 84175 Herbie Hancock Empyrean Isles(2x12", Album, Ltd, RE, Gat) Music Matters Ltd., Blue Note MMBST-84175, BST 84175 US 2012 Sell This Version
BSTF 84175 Herbie Hancock Empyrean Isles(LP, Album, RE) Blue Note BSTF 84175 France 1975 Sell This Version
1421.2007-2 Herbie Hancock The Egg(CD, Album) Music Reflexion 1421.2007-2 Switzerland 1994 Sell This Version
1021.2007-2 Herbie Hancock The Egg(CD) Music Mirror 1021.2007-2 Switzerland 1993 Sell This Version


Reviews Show All 3 Reviews

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April 1, 2016
I have a copy with blue/white Liberty labels with 'VAN GELDER' in dead wax, but 'Microgroove' labels with mono number (BLP 4175). Engravings in runout also read BLP 4175. It has the first issue jacket with '43 West 61st St.' and 4175 in blocks on back.


November 10, 2014
edited over 3 years ago
Here with "Cantaloupe Island", like "Blind Man, Blind Man" and "Watermelon man" before it, Hancock's shows his funky side, the record also has elements of hard-bop, and more experimental sounds. It's an interesting release but because he is exploring so many sounds the album sounds like a collection of recordings put together than an album that really flows in one style.


November 30, 2011
Empyrean Isles is the best of Hancock's Blue Note albums and an outstanding example of modal jazz. But beyond that, it's simply one of the finest pure jazz albums ever made, right up there with Kind of Blue and Love Supreme. What helps makes it so great is not just the phenomenal musicians and the flawless performance, but a composer/arranger (Hancock) who really has no equal in the jazz world.

The 1950s were about forming the groundwork for jazz. Its maturation came in the post-bop 1960s, and this album was conceived at arguably the very peak of that movement. My favourites here are the "Oliloqui Valley" and the immortal "Cantaloupe Island."