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Herbie Hancock - Thrust CD (album) cover


Herbie Hancock


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.12 | 131 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars The logical musical continuity of Head Hunters still featuring The Headhunters (now a group), Thrust comes back with a better (IMHO, although I'm likely to be in a minority) album than HH with a slightly different line up, bringing Mike Clark (a white dude to be found later in Brand X as Collins' replacement) to replace session drummer Harvey Mason. Whether Thrust came before or after Headhunter's space funk album, is not clear to me, but I find this one more interesting; not because of the return of Springett on the artwork (actually I find it a little too pretentious), but because it tries to be more accessible and listener-friendly.

Starting the same way HH did, but this time with the drummer instead of bassist Jackson, then having Summers intervening with all kinds of percussion instruments, Hancock is again using his clavinet to simulate the funky guitar. The 10-mins+ Palm Grease is an arrangement of a funk rhythm that Clark and Jackson had found at a concert warm up. Actual Proof is much calmer and not nearly as loud and Hancock borders dissonance in his improvisation, pushed as far as he could by his rhythm section.

The flipside starts on the Maupin/Hancock composition, but it sounds as if they'd encountered Brian Auger's Oblivion Express on their path. The 11-mins Butterfly is a real joy to listen to especially when Maupin his wide array of wind instruments at the forefront. The closing ultra-funk Spank-A-Lee is another rhythm found by Clark, Jackson and Summers and it's by far the loudest track on the album

Strangely enough, Thrust climbed to the same #13 spot on the Billboard and sold quite a bit, but it fails to get the recognition of HH, even though it's probably more listener-friendly.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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