Django and Brubeck came up in reference to Hancock's placement on the list, so here are 2 questions for anyone who wants to answer them. (It's also OK to just answer one of them.
) Is it wrong to have an artist who emerged in the last 50 years in the top 30 of this list? Should Hancock be the highest ranking artist who emerged during the last 50 years? Clarifying the criteria, it's 1/2 influence, 1/3 the quantity of highly esteemed recorded work, and 1/6 reputation as a musician and/or composer.
I'd say it's a case-by-case basis because you can have a brief career and still have a strong standing; I mean, on the rock side of things (since you're working on the rock artists list), we have artists such as Hendrix (brief career as a living artist) and Madonna (more recent artist of the last 30 years).
Herbie Hancock did make records that helped jazz to cross over and expand ("Chameleon," "Rockit"), but some detractors think this isn't a good thing. But then again, this was a child prodigy (performed with the Chicago Symphony), a guy who was a pivotal member of Miles' Davis seminal quintet, created the immortal Maiden Voyage
, was prominent in "soul jazz" and "fusion," had his work significantly sampled, worked with some of the greatest artists around...obviously explored different sounds. A prolific composer and great musician, all around, with high esteem. He might be high, but it's not like he doesn't deserve a high position. Although I can see Django moving ahead.
Probably a better question some might ask is why is Sun Ra so high? Critics called his music either "too out there to be considered real jazz" and other negative labels, but the guy had some serious talent for his modal work in the 1950s and played an integral part in "astral jazz," "free jazz," and of the ilk and even earned the appreciation of people such as John Cage and Miles Davis. Perhaps the quintessential "jazz wizard."