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Herbie Hancock - The Spook Who Sat By The Door (OST) CD (album) cover


Herbie Hancock


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.97 | 12 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars This is a rarely seen album soundtrack from a rarely seen Blaxpoitation flick of the early 70's, about the CIA hiring Afro-Americans just to fit the politically-correct quotas. Indeed, the soundtrack project was proposed to Hancock while his Mwandishi group was changing label (from Atlantic to Columbia), and he took on the offer to fill the rest of his contract for his old label. Apparently the Atlantic label saw little interest in releasing it (they saw no potential, given their Mwandishi/Crossings deceiving sales, so the album got instantly (or almost) forgotten about and found its way on the UAR label for a very confidential release. Still nowadays, there hasn't been an official reissue of the album and the only reasonable way to access the music is via a semi-legit vinyl release from the early part of the 00's.

As you'll guess from the "soundtrack" form of this recording, the album is filled with directly- taken from the movie scenes and include dialogues and background story noises that give a good idea of the movie's content (the album artwork also gives youan idea), but the music is often surprising. Indeed the spectrum oscillate from a heavy jazz-funk that pre-figures the Head hunters release, to some really strange musical electronic noises, a still-fresh heritage from the Gleeson/Mwandishi days and some typically funk-symphonic strings-arranged passages ala Shaft (see Isaac Hayes) and some dynamite fender Rhodes piano sections. But it's mostly the funk-electro-jazz tracks that will retain the proghead's attention, because some of these are quite groundbreaking and will find way into many samples and influences (even if unintentionally so) for the next two decades.

A rather interesting release that if not entirely legit will still remain affordable and the only way to discover a forgotten-about Herbie works, that is definitely worth the discovery to confirmed fans, but I wouldn't call it essential either.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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