Here we have somebody who I would say is probably the most influential pianist of the last 50 years, and one of our all-time most extraordinary musicians.
Everything that came before him, from the jazz world to the classical world, all came together and then got kicked up several quantum leaps in Herbie's hands. He was a child prodigy, playing with the Chicago Symphony at the age of 11, and didn't get into jazz until early in high school, but ouch, the way he took to it from there.
Playing with people like Donald Byrd and Oliver Nelson shortly after turning 20, he joined Miles Davis's quintet at the age of 23. Which is pretty ridiculous considering the wealth of piano talent that was out there. But right from the very start you hear that this is something incredibly special.
I've often thought that Herbie is the ultimate expression of the human potential:
Original Content: George Whitty on Influential Jazz Piano Players: Part 2