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Herbie Hancock - Sextant CD (album) cover


Herbie Hancock


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.13 | 170 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Any concept of what ''jazz'' should be will be shattered as soon as you listen to SEXTANT. Herbie Hancock takes a normal jazz fusion approach and wings out into more experimental/avant areas to make one of the most forward thinking albums ever.

Here's smart idea #1: have the track titles make sense to what the music is doing. WEATHER REPORT had that knack on their debut album, and Hancock can get that visceral connection as well. When I think of ''Hornets'', I thinking of the buzzing sounds from the keyboards that remind me of actual hornets. That's just an example.

Smart idea #2: set up a groovy backbone so that the length is not an issue. Even as plinky, plunky and Tangerine-Dreamy as ''Rain Dance'' is, the handclaps give the track an identifiable groove that you can bop your head to.

Smart idea #3: Bennie Maupin. The man practically made Miles Davis's BITCHES BREW album an enjoyable experience. He takes on more woodwind instruments here via necessity. But that bass clarinet does show up in ''Hidden Shadows'' parroting the bass, and boy is that spellbinding.

And keep in mind that some African based rhythms creep their way into the sound of the band here to the point where that is the reason why the jams hold up so well. That rhythmic foundation is key to the artistic achievement of SEXTANT. It's as if the ideas originally set by Osibisa are taken to the next level.

SEXTANT is far more than a fusion album. It's a dazzling music experience unlike any you've ever laid ears on. A masterpiece from inception.

Sinusoid | 5/5 |


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