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Herbie Hancock - Sextant CD (album) cover

SEXTANT

Herbie Hancock

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.15 | 119 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
5 stars This is the third straight album with the same lineup (except for Gleeson) and it shows.The interplay is so precise that I have to include that as being one of the highlights of this album. I also must say that my respect and admiration for Herbie Hancock as a composer is on a new level after spending considerable time with this record. This recording is unique and it really takes a path that no one has quite taken before.

People including our own Sean Trane mention the word Krautrock when talking about "Rain Dance" with all the electronics going on. "Hidden Shadows" recalls Miles Davis but the added mellotron adds a different flavour to the mix. "Hornets" the side long suite is my favourite and about half way through we get a Zeuhl-like rhythm with fuzzed out bass that is repeated over and over. I thought I was listening to Janick Top ! On top of all this I actually really enjoy listening to this album. Unfortunately the public at large didn't embrace this album or the previous two which led Herbie to move in a new direction with his next recording "Head Hunters".

"Rain Dance" has been called "Trance Jazz" because of how repetitive the electronic soundscape is half way through. It bubbles away with synths and percussion with all these sounds coming and going and then bass and drums enter the picture before 1 1/2 minutes. Electric piano a minute later until electronics dominate after 5 1/2 minutes. "Hidden Shadows" has this fairly slow rhythm (bass & clarinet) as mellotron comes in. Horn blasts come and go recalling Miles. Synths do the same actually. Mellotron 4 minutes in. Great sound a minute later. Mellotron is back 6 minutes in as piano follows. There's so much going on before 8 minutes.

"Hornets" is the 19 1/2 minute closer. Just a fantastic groove to this one. Herbie's clavinet and all these intricate sounds coming and going. Horns go crazy 8 minutes in and then these repetitive fuzzed out bass lines give us that Zeuhl flavour. Check out the rhythm 15 minutes in ! Drums come crashing in at 18 minutes. The fuzz bass is back along with the Hum-A-Zoo.

This album isn't an easy listen but a very interesting and rewarding one. I get that same buzz listening to this record as I do with "Bitches Brew" and some of Miles' other albums.

Mellotron Storm | 5/5 |

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