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Herbie Hancock - Crossings CD (album) cover


Herbie Hancock


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.28 | 311 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Of Herbie's three Mwandishi sextet/septet albums, this is my favorite. Here the band (now a septet since the officially addition of synthesizer guru Patrick Gleason) is more seasoned, working seemlessly, almost effortlessly, in cohesion. The music feels more rehearsed, more repeatable, and still quite organic despite the addition of Patrick Gleason's synthesizers and the advent of spacier sonic backdrops. The production is so clean and clear, with each instrument standing prominently in the mix wherever its place. (The previous album had a more equanimous washed feel to it and the next album Sextant suffered from poor sound engineering.)

1. "Sleeping Giant" (24:48) Herbie's lone compositional credit on the album manages to fill an entire side of the album and, to my ears, represents the most structured jazz-like tune on the album. Opening with an awesome polyrhythmic percussive tribute to Africa, the song jumps into more Western-friendly arenas with bass and electric piano in the fourth minute. This is a sonic palette and style that will be replicated with much success by the likes of Emir Deodato and Brian Auger within the next year. A song that plays out like a smooth MILES DAVIS song (despite the Fat Albert-like theme interjected into the twelfth minute). (46.25/50)

2. "Quasar" (7:25) though the structure and flow are quite unusual and experimental, the sounds used, for the most part, are pretty straightforward traditional jazz instruments. (14/15)

3. "Water Torture" (13:54) piccolo and percussion and strange ARP and Moog sounds open this Bennie Maupin composition, truly mimicking some of the sounds of water. That feeling and sensation of waterflow somehow is maintained continuously, though in varying forms, throughout this extraordinary piece. After 90 seconds an actual musical soundscape is built around bass, keys, and clarinet while percussives and trumpet play around on the edges. (28/30)

Total Time 46:21

A/five stars; a masterpiece of progressive rock music coming from the jazz-rock fusion subgenre.

BrufordFreak | 5/5 |


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