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Herbie Hancock - Sextant CD (album) cover

SEXTANT

Herbie Hancock

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.14 | 121 ratings

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zravkapt
Special Collaborator
Post/Math Rock Team
5 stars There is a part of me that says I should not give this album 5 stars. That part of me is trying to be nice to all the symph/neo/crossover lovers out there. But I really don't think the PA Review Police will harass me for giving an album not in those 3 subs a 5-star review. Especially if I feel that it deserves such a rating. Fans of Yes, Dream Theater or Marillion will most likely not think much of the music presented here. However, I think proggers who enjoy Fusion, Zeuhl, RIO and/or Krautrock will find much to enjoy here.

This is, IMO, the best of the Mwandishi trilogy. In fact I also prefer this to anything Hancock, Henderson, Maupin or Priester did after recording Sextant. It's no wonder the album was a flop at the time of it's release: the world was not ready for this kind of stuff! Today, I imagine lots of hip-hoppers and hipsters would drool over the music presented here. What we get on this album is a mix of psychedelic jazz, avant-funk and electronics. Dr. Patrick Gleeson is almost the star of this album with his use of ARP synths. Of course the real star is Herbie himself who puts his Rhodes and clavinet through various effects(fuzz-wah, Echoplex, phase shifter). He also uses the Mellotron to great effect, although the 'Tron use on Crossings is probably better. But the synthesizers are much more prominent on Sextant.

"Rain Dance" is techno-jazz for the 21st century...recorded in 1972! "Hidden Shadows" is what happens when funk, avant-garde and symphonic rock crash into each other on a highway. "Hornets" almost 20 minutes just seem to fly by. I just love the way Billy Hart keeps threatening to play a straight-funky beat but restrains himself at the last moment. This song is almost the missing link between Miles' On The Corner album and Hancock's next Headhunters album. So five stars it is. If you want to hear some amazing and truly original "jazz" music, look no further. If you're obsessed with melody and suite-like structures, look elsewhere.

zravkapt | 5/5 |

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