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Herbie Hancock - Flood CD (album) cover

FLOOD

Herbie Hancock

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.12 | 9 ratings

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stefro
Prog Reviewer
2 stars Thanks to some apparently super-enthusiastic fan devotion towards certain Western rock acts, the 1970's saw a series of live albums, usually double or even triple-sided, issued in Japan only. Titles included the superb Santana triple-live release 'Lotus'(which ended up being one of the biggest-selling import albums ever) and this lengthy offering from Herbie Hancock recorded during 1975. By this time, Hancock had almost completed his gradual move away from the avant-garde-edged psychedelic afro-fusion sound featured on the likes of 'Sextant' and 'Crossings', instead choosing to develop the popular jazz-funk style found on his seminal 'Head Hunters' album. As a result, 'Flood' proves a mixed bag, with Hancock, in an admirable-yet-misguided move, choosing to reel off a live set that encapsulates the three major stages of his career up until that point, with classical jazz readings, experimental fusion sojourns and bristling funk medleys making up this surprisingly flat two-disc effort. With his Head Hunters outfit in tow - Paul Jackson, Bennie Maupin and Mike Clark all back him with highly-competent yet strangely uninvolving performances - 'Flood' seems like a missed opportunity. Hancock's 1970's studio repertoire is, of course, superb, yet for various reasons he has never been able to truly emulate his complex, funk-dipped sound in the live arena. A prime example, 'Flood' starts slowly, offering up a melodic-yet-dull reading of 'Maiden Voyage' before similarly mediocre versions of 'Actual Proof', 'Watermelon Man' and 'Chameleon' fail to heat proceedings up. So, what you have here then is a highly-talented collection of musicians basically going through the motions, the eclectic set-list actually working against the group. Flat, indulgent and ultimately rather restrained, 'Flood' ranks as one of the most disappointing live documents of the fusion era, and as mediocre an album as Hancock is ever likely to put his name too. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012
stefro | 2/5 |

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