Dedication by Herbie Hancock is an anomalous entry in the discography of the revered jazz-fusion keyboardist. The album was recorded over the course of a single day, in the middle of a tour of Japan at Koseinekin Hall in Tokyo, and for years would be available exclusively in Japan. Produced a month ahead of his 1974 studio album Thrust, the follow-up to his career-defining album Head Hunters, Dedication's tracks were noteworthy for how drastically different they were from the material that followed. Gone was the dangerously funked-out rhythm section goodness of the Headhunters; instead Hancock is alone, performing four solo pieces on grand piano, electric keys, and synthesizer.
Side one features Hancock at his most introspective, featuring romantic, ballad-like takes on two of his 60s pieces: "Maiden Voyage", and "Dolphin Dance." Side two, on the other hand, is almost a polar opposite, utilizing early techno rhythms through Fender Rhodes electric keyboards, and the sample-and-hold features of the ARP 2600 synthesizer, rendering spacey, exploratory jams such as the original track "Nobu", and an electro-funky take on "Cantaloupe Island". (Two tracks which predicted Hancock's eventual electro-funk dominance in the 1980s.)