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Herbie Hancock - Crossings CD (album) cover


Herbie Hancock


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.26 | 339 ratings

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4 stars I often have to fight my urge to get past unmet expectations and be able to appreciate what a band is putting forth. I slightly expected funky jazz, similar to Thrust or Headhunters, and when I didn't get it, I was initially put off a bit. That was a few years back, but I have now come to appreciate some--though perhaps not yet all--that Hancock and crew have achieved. It's not linear, it's not necessarily going anywhere, and it certainly doesn't structure each solo here and there, but I do enjoy it each time through, and new things jump out at me with each listen. The caveat is that I only put it on when I'm in the mood for something unstructured, which is not terrible often.

Sleeping Giant is the track that I get the most out of, perhaps simply because it remains upbeat for a longer time than the other two. I enjoy each section, from the percussion-heavy intro to the Coltrane-ian harmonies toward the end. I also learned new things, such as how different varieties of trombones sound (here I naively thought that there was only one kind of trombone!). I'm not sure that the sections are linked particularly well, but in fairness it doesn't seem to be the case that the band really attempted to do so.

The second side is much more atmospheric and searching, and it's hard to describe highlights as opposed to the experience, which is mellow, a bit spooky at times, but ultimately warm and relatively familiar.

I feel that I know jazz rock and fusion fairly well, but abstract jazz/fusion? Well, I think I'm still learning the ropes, such as how to manage expectations, how to figure out what the musicians are trying to do for me, as well as what I'm supposed to do myself to get the most out of the experience. Or maybe I shouldn't be trying at all. Either way, Crossings doesn't feel like a masterpiece to me, but that may change. Regardless, I do prefer this to other abstract jazz that I have heard, such as some of Miles' adventures.

Flucktrot | 4/5 |


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