Herbie HancockEmpyrean Isles

Label:Blue Note – BLP 4175
Vinyl, LP, Album, Mono, DG side 1


A1One Finger Snap
A2Oliloqui Valley
B1Cantaloupe Island
B2The Egg

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 or side B. No copies are known to exist with a dg on both sides. This particular pressing has a deep groove on side A only.
- 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

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Rights Society: BMI

Other Versions (5 of 81)

View All
Title (Format)LabelCat#CountryYear
New Submission
Empyrean Isles (LP, Album, Stereo)Blue NoteBST 84175US1964
New Submission
Empyrean Isles (LP, Album, Mono, No DG)Blue NoteBLP 4175US1964
New Submission
Empyrean Isles (LP, Album, Mono, DG side 2)Blue NoteBLP 4175US1964
New Submission
Empyrean Isles (LP, Album, Reissue, Stereo, Liberty)Blue NoteBST 84175US1966
New Submission
Empyrean Isles (LP, Album, Reissue, Stereo)Blue NoteBST 84175US1966



  • Dramned's avatar
    According to Fred Cohen's Blue Note Guide the non DG version is the first pressing, not this one.
    But who knows...?
    I'm sure Plastylite had more than only one press running for the first pressing, some with, some without DG, so no one can really say, which one came out first.
    • kafkahair's avatar
      Edited 2 years ago
      New version or variant? I have a copy that looks like Herbie Hancock - Empyrean Isles in every way except that the Side 2 label reads "A division of United Artists Records, Inc." Side 1 reads "A division of Liberty Records, Inc" same as in the notes on Herbie Hancock - Empyrean Isles. I have photos at I cannot find this specific version and any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
      PS Added version as Herbie Hancock - Empyrean Isles but it is lacking date and other info
      • larmarcar's avatar
        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.
        • dlgale1974's avatar
          Edited 9 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.
          • GalaxyExplorer's avatar
            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."


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