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Herbie Hancock - Sextant CD (album) cover


Herbie Hancock


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.15 | 197 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Electronic swathes of sound undercut by funky bass in which saxophonist Bennie Maupin is beautifully lost in the sea of sound conjured up by the cacophony of the other players. 'Sextant' is proper space funk, that could only have been made in the early 70's. And incredibly, it doesn't sound dated at all.

A quite stunning accomplishment and unlike any of his other albums I've heard (apart from 'Crossings'). This is more of a challenge than the aforementioned, but for a jazz album, there's a definite use of melody which is quite pleasing to hear.

Far better than the 'by the numbers' performance of the poor follow up 'Headhunters' (which I'm led to believe was the best selling jazz album of all time until 1992).

A challenging record, with lots of elements which blend, collide and smash into each other. It always has my attention from beginning to end. If someone played it to you for the first time, you would be forgiven for thinking that it was some demented Krautrock band.

'Sextant' is quite difficult to describe, as quite honestly, there's nothing really like it. It's far more cohesive and less improvised in nature than Sun-Ra - and a lot more tuneful. Less harsh and abrasive than 'Bitches Brew'. I don't think I've ever heard such a jam packed album that sounds so spacious, where no-one sounds intrusive despite the full on musical assault.

Special mention to Henderson's trumpet. In my view, next to the electronics, it's the highlight of the cd. Recorded at a perfect volume with lots of echo and used sparingly, so that when it appears it puts shivers down your spine. The production values are excellent too, where everything is recorded at the optimum level. (it's his first on Columbia Records)

It's all these factors combined that really make you slack jawed at what you're listening to. A triumph.

Dobermensch | 5/5 |


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