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Sextant


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Sextant + Crossings + Man-Child
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 1, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
  • ASIN: B0012GMX5Q
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,518 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Rain Dance - Herbie Hancock
2. Hidden Shadows - Herbie Hancock
3. Hornets - Herbie Hancock

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

Anyway, I'd LOVE to get stung by *this* kind of bee!
B. E Jackson
Along with Crossings, Thrust, Man-Child and Headhunters this is an excellent recording and a jewell of jazz fusion.
Donnie
An adventurous amalgamation of funk, jazz and R&B elements by one of the modern masters of music.
ND.NY

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By P. Gleeson on July 5, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This is a wonderful album--musically adventurous and still fresh today. Note that this isn't necessarily an impartial review--I'm the synth player on the album, the second of the two albums Herbie recorded when I was a bandmember. However, I would rate the previous album, Crossings, even a little higher. It's not quite as electronic and not quite as funky, but the writing is probably a little more ambitious (not that Sextant dumbed anything down--it didn't), and it's a beautiful statement of the cross-currents: modal jazz that goes back to Miles' Kind of Blue, afrocentric jazz (the kind of repetitive/trancelike African-influenced beats that were being explored in "legit" music by Steve Reich around this same time), and electronic jazz, which was recorded on Crossings for the first time (although, as I remember, Weather Report's I Sing the Body Electric, with Arp 2500 electronics by Roger Powell, hit retail first). That's another great fusion album by the way--hope it's still in print.

One thing that's just beginning to be realized, I think, is that the period from the late 60's through early 70's was jazz's equivalent of The Elizabethan Age--a short period of time where the milieu, the technology, the audience and the players all reached a level of acceptance and understanding that allowed jazz to flourish both artistically and commercially. Bebop was wonderful, but the audience was limited to a cultural avantegarde and the jazz that came after this record, although interesting, was never, I think, as confidentally experimental. Too bad.

But, again, the analogy with Elizabethan drama holds true: art movements come from nowhere or for no single clear reason and then when it seems that its just going to get better and better, its over.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By kamus on March 30, 2002
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Herbie disbanded his sextet shortly after this recording to form 'Headhunters". Though I'm a big fan of his funk quartet it's a shame that this line of thought wasn't continued. He himself said that there was nowhere else to go with this music and perhaps he's right. However, Sextant stands as a powerful milestone in the post "Bitch's Brew" world. Innovative in just about every respect; instrumentation, composition, use of synthesizers and incredible solos from Herbie and Eddie Henderson et al. Though this is unquestionably avant-garde the earthy (and unearthly) grooves makes it accessible to anyone with an open ear and mind. Though recorded in the early seventies this music is still fresh and futuristic. A wonderful artistic highpoint for Herbie Hancock in a career not lacking in creative highpoints. My highest recommendation!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Scott McFarland on March 28, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This has been an underground classic for years; I'm happy to say that this reissue presents us with a strong remastered sound and a quality package.
The music's brilliant and a bit unlike anything else. It's truly musical fusion (fusion of rock, jazz, and funk). The band's playing is top-notch and the musical concepts are ambitious. The overall effect of the music is, as one friend of mine says, similar to watching a fish tank full of flourescent, brightly-colored fish go through their paces. It's basically a real head trip and highly musical. Unfortunately Hancock disbanded Mwandishi subsequent to this recording and never reached for these heights again.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 6, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Wow. This album was the last recording of the Mwandishi group before the Headhunters era of funk. However, in these earlier Herbie explorations, you can get lost in the shifting sea of sounds...this music is insanely good! Rain Dance can probably be considered the first ever "techno" song, consisting of open, spacey improvisation around a synth loop. Hidden Shadows is definitely my favorite track-- from its opening to finish, it continuously builds up energy, from the great polyrythmic drums and bass, to Eddie Henderson's scathing trumpet solo, to the constantly shifting psychedelic sounds of Herbie's keys and Dr. Patrick Gleeson's synth contributions, until Herbie takes it one step further on the acoustic piano. Finally, there's Hornets. Well...you might want to burn one before this- 20-minutes of high-energy improvisation, complete with kazoo and the repetitive, driving two-note bassline, and steady drums...sounds beautiful, spacey, funky, and intense in a 70's Miles, On the Corner kind of Way. Get this album, sit back, and enjoy where it takes you!!!!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Michael Hardin on March 4, 2006
Format: Audio CD
A lot of what went on in fusion before it became commercial and popularized was experimentation with sound. Armed with new electronic toys, musicians created all sorts of sonic textures and new tensions. The masters of the genre were Joe Zawinul with Weather Report and Herbie Hancock with the Mwandishi group heard here. This album really takes it up a notch from "Crossings," the first to feature Patrick Gleeson on synthesizers. Here, Gleeson is featured much more prominently, and the textures of sounds he creates are unlike anything heard before and superior to most everything since. On "Crossings," the horn players are spotlighted individually, whereas here it's more of a group sound; though soloing takes place, the horns are more for different colors to offset the synthesizers. The resulting album is one that sounds extremely alien to the listening mainstream, even to those who appreciate jazz. But to those with an open ear and mind, this album features some of the most fascinating sound (even more sound than music) ever documented on record. A lot of early fusion like this is searching that takes place on record, and though the searching itself can be difficult to listen to, there are some fantastic moments buried within the extended tracks. My favorite track here is "Hidden Shadows," a very funky (though in a different way) jam in something like 19/8 time. But the other two tracks are fascinating as well. What happened as fusion progressed is a streamlining, taking the gems found in the searching and dispensing with the more difficult, tense sections which lead into the gems. While there is some great later fusion, it never matches the spontaneity found on albums like this.Read more ›
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