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Crossings [Import, Original recording remastered]

Herbie Hancock, Herbie Hancock / Michael Brecker / Roy HargroveAudio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Audio CD, Import, Original recording remastered, 2001 $11.20  
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Crossings + Mwandishi (Warner Bros. Master Series) + Sextant
Price for all three: $28.65

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 5, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Warner Bros UK
  • ASIN: B000056P03
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,738 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Sleeping Giant
2. Quasar
3. Water Torture

Editorial Reviews

2001 reissue of 1971 album, remastered from the original analogue tapes and packaged in a digipak. Currently out-of-print in the U.S. 3 tracks. Approx. 45 minutes.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
133 of 135 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Notes from the synth player... July 1, 2005
Format:Audio CD
I'm the synth player. I joined Herbie's band as this album was being recorded--much to the displeasure of the rest of the band (who are now my lifelong friends). At the first rehearsal Buster Williams, Herbie's incredible bass player, said, "What do you call that thing anyway?" "An Arp 2600." Buster glared and said, "Well, it sounds like a big vacuum cleaner." The earliest critical responses were in the same vein. The downbeat reviewer was particularly merciless. Then after we'd toured the album for almost a year something very strange happened. Kids would come back stage and want to know where they could buy what I was playing. Downbeat nominated me for outstanding new jazz artist! And an older black jazz fan made a point of apologizing to me for not liking what I was doing the previous time we were in town (although he'd said nothing negative to me before). At that point synths had made their way into funk and jazz.

Now, some thirty-five years later, I look back on this album with such pride--for my contribution, for the band's excellence generally,for Herbie's brilliance as a player--at this point no jazz piano player in the world was any better-- and for Herbie's open-mindedness in hiring this weird academic geek and turning him into a jazz musician. I've played on something like 200 albums since, and this for me was absolutely the best: composition, performance, conception certainly and also for the brotherhood it engendered among the players. "Sextant" was also good, and probably even more electronic, but from a player's viewpoint this album is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Turn down the lights and just listen. It's pretty amazing music.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exquisite masterpiece !! July 29, 2001
Format:Audio CD
I`ve been praying for this to get a proper CD reissue with the original magnificent cover artwork, and NOW WE HAVE IT !! Finally! (The previous "Complete W. Bros. Recordings" did not reproduce the painting).
"Mwandishi" from 1971(the first incredible recording by this line-up), was just the beginning. Hancock refined that compositional style to the greatest imagineable heights with this groundbreaking 1972 release, "Crossings". He took his Miles` influences & surpassed the master himself. Miles rarely wrote such evolved, complex compositions like this.
Side one (of the original LP, which is essential too, for it`s marvelous, full-size gatefold cover.... I`ve got mine on the wall!), is an intricate piece entitled "Sleeping Giant", which clocks in at 24:50 !!! and is sheer bliss throughout. It begins w/ an arsenal of percussion played by the entire sextet, & trippy effects from Herbie & Patrick Gleason`s Moog synth, which builds & builds, & then swells into a marvelous fluid solo from Herbie on electric piano.
There are numerous elements constantly at play. This is an album of contemporary 'classical' composition w/ gorgeous ensemble themes, meets infectious funk grooves,alongside psychedelia, often laced w/ concise solos, all within one monstrous epic.
The next 2 pieces are both penned by Bennie Maupin......... "Quasar" is sheer beauty & magnificence. It features Maupin`s lovely alto flute,& Eddie Henderson`s potent flugelhorn (...when, O when will his "Realizations" album, which features the identical personnel here, see a CD reissue?!) More trippy effects from P. Gleason & it all fades away into an aquatic drowning wash........
The final joy here is Maupin`s "Water Torture" 14:04 , probably my favorite piece, ...but I adore it all.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some ambient, some jazz,some funk--all good July 22, 2004
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I owned this album in high school, but had not listened to it for over twenty-five years until I purchased the CD. It was deep and mysterious, as I remembered--multilayed and multitextured. It takes you on a journey into alien regions. It was a rich experience through headphones, as I remember.

Indeed it still does all these years later. Herbie was exploring electronic music (he plays mostly electric piano and synthesizer) and a more funk orientation. (I almost wrote funk-rock, but there is little rock sensibility here, beside the electric bass.) But he was not yet into his Headhunters stage of pure funk.

This album is made of of one very long piece by Herbie and two shorter pieces by band member, Bennie Maupin. The music bears some resemblance to early Weather Report, such as "Sweetnigher" (pre-Jacko days), but has a richer, more exploratory sense to it.

The notes say Herbie was influenced by Sun Ra at the time, which gives it an "outside" kind of feel at many places. But there is melody, harmony, and set time to all the pieces. (And there are no lyrics, which plagued Sun Ra too often.) Yet there is an ambient feel to some of it, without being boring. This is jazz, after all.

All in all, "Crossings" is something of a neglected materpiece. I cannot think of another recording quite like it.

Douglas Groothuis
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Psychedelic Jazz, Part II May 3, 2003
Format:Audio CD
Crossings is the centerpiece of a musical phase in the life of Herbie Hancock: before was Mwandishi and after, Sextant. These three records stand out as a unique type of music, which neither Herbie himself nor his "compeditors", such as Miles Davis or Weather Report, nor King Crimson for that matter (on their first four LPs, which were recorded before Crossings!), nor any other musician since, were ever able to reach nor top. I've called the music on these three LPs "Psychedelic Jazz".
Crossings contains three pieces. The first, Sleeping Giant, a Hancock composition, fills Side One. There are several parts held together by a theme or motive; however, the structure of the song fails to live up to the ambition of the music. It contains great moments, though, especially the one when Julian Priester plays a lovely trombone solo on free harmonies and an irregular beat and suddenly, the entire circus rises and leaves with a joyful vamp that evokes the music soon to be focused on (on Headhunters). Side Two consists of to gorgeous Bennie Maupin compositions - by the way, Bennie Maupin's contributions (composition, bass clarinet, saxes) cannot be overemphasized. And here, the concept works perfectly. The music is free and timeless and has proved to have no age - classical music! Acoustic instruments, combined with synthesizers, mellotron and voices - it's a pretty indescribable experience. The cover art is a perfect companion for this extraordinary record. Very highly recommended!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential 1972 recording
I've listened to this album on the Mwandishi CD box set and I was pleased to discover the 180 gram vinyl is a superb alternative. Read more
Published 2 months ago by JoTo
5.0 out of 5 stars Crossings / Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock is so creative on this project...........Sleeping Giant, Quasar - my favorite, what can I say? Wonderful production, and creative arrangements.
Published 12 months ago by Pericles Jacobs
5.0 out of 5 stars Topographic Influence
I've been a fan of Herbie Hancock for a few years now. I listen to his "Head Hunters" and "Thrust" CDs repeatedly and love the mix of jazz and funk he creates. Read more
Published on January 31, 2012 by Daniel J. Sweigert
5.0 out of 5 stars Hope it's not forgotten
This is a fabulous album by Herbie Hancock and his 1970s African inspired sextet - which became a septet with Gleeson on synthesizers - that I hope is not forgotten. Read more
Published on March 18, 2008 by William J. Feuer
5.0 out of 5 stars Hope it's not forgotten
This is a fabulous album by Herbie Hancock and his 1970s African inspired sextet - which became a septet with Gleeson on synthesizers - that I hope is not forgotten. Read more
Published on March 18, 2008 by William J. Feuer
5.0 out of 5 stars jazzman, Louisville, Ky
What I don't understand is why the title cut "Crossings", an almost three minute composition that I have only
found on Herbie's "Treasure Chest" double-lp set (vinyl only) is... Read more
Published on August 14, 2006 by James K. Stewart
4.0 out of 5 stars Ahead of its Time
I purchased this album shortly after it came out and it was a bit much to soak in initially. I was in college studying music and really into synths and I got an earful on this... Read more
Published on May 25, 2006 by W. Bradley
1.0 out of 5 stars You're being taken
This is a fantastic album, but it is available domestically as part of the set "Mwandishi: The Complete Warner Bros. Recordings" for literally pocket change more than this price. Read more
Published on March 3, 2006 by Michael Hardin
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