Transcription: “Infant Eyes” – piano solo by Herbie Hancock

The excerpt above is a transcription of Herbie’s short solo on the A section, right before Wayne Shorter states the latter two thirds of the closing melody, coming in on the bridge (B) and going into the final A and coda. The inspired introduction is another spot in this version where the piano is featured. Listen closely to the form throughout: A (9 measures), B (9 measures), A (9 measures). That’s three sections of nine measures each¹. A cool and unusual form…


¹ And I somehow can’t help but think about Nikola Tesla’s obsession with 3, 6, and 9… These numbers are indeed often seen as representing the non-physical realm. Is there a connection with the idea of the soul of a newborn infant (the eyes are “the window to the soul”) entering the physical world through incarnation?


Shorter, Wayne. Speak no Evil. Blue Note/Decca 744042. 2021 (originally released in 1966, recorded 1964).

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