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Herbie Hancock - Crossings CD (album) cover


Herbie Hancock


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.23 | 284 ratings

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5 stars Allow me to join in the unanimous praise bestowed on this album. Hancock's second album in the Mwandishi series is a masterpiece and easily one of the most imaginative fusion albums I've heard. Hancock's band plays an entirely different kind of fusion then the guitar and riff heavy rock of MO and RTF, instead Crossings further explores the free-jazz leanings of Miles Davis' Bitches Brew, but the form is much more concise.

The keyboards play a big role on the album, not as a melodic instrument but as one providing texture and atmosphere. This is clear right from the start, Sleeping Giant starts with tribal percussion, jungle noises and spacey synth effects. Gradually, the bass and piano join and the music gets a more harmonious texture. The smart thing is that they balance out the experimental and atmospheric parts with some groovy and even funky sections. As such the piece is both challenging and catchy, which usually is makes for a very happy marriage.

The two remaining shorter piece are even more experimental and mesmerizing, Quasar features spacey synth noises and atmospheric free-jazz improvisations. Things often border on avant-garde and even early electronic music, invoking some vibe reminiscent of Tangerine Dream's Alpha Centauri. Water Torture continues the psych jazz vibe and ends with great cosmic mellotron sounds.

Crossings couldn't have had a more appropriate name, blowing up all existing boundaries between the free-jazz, funk, rock and electronic avant-garde. It's boundless music that can be mind-blowing as well as catchy. A much recommended listen.

Bonnek | 5/5 |


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