To listen to the music of Herbie Hancock is to witness an artist in constant evolution. Even looking at highlights alone — from 1962's "Watermelon Man," a tune he says he named after a fruit seller he'd seen in his hometown of Chicago, to playing in Miles Davis' band, to his improbable hip-hop hybrid "Rockit" in 1983, to his recent collaboration with fellow electronic tinkerer Flying Lotus — to refer to the pianist and composer as a jazz artist feels utterly inadequate.
Now, at the age of 74, Hancock is looking back on his sweeping career in a memoir called Possibilities. He joined NPR's Steve Inskeep to talk about some of his more profound turning points, be it Buddhist chants as a gateway to funk music or getting into hard drugs and bouncing back. Hear the radio version at the audio link below!