HERBIE HANCOCK — Sextant (review)

HERBIE HANCOCK — Sextant album cover Album · 1973 · Fusion Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Miler72
For many years I didn't even realize Herbie Hancock released an album earlier the same year as his ever-popular Headhunters, until about ten years ago. Sextant was that album, and his first for Columbia. I heard how much it was a commercial failure, but the only reason for that, really, was it was over the heads of mainstream listeners. For the most adventurous listeners, you're really in for a treat! The lineup is the same as before, with Hancock, Billy Hart, Buster Williams, Eddie Henderson, Julian Priester, and Bennie Maupin, with Patrick Gleeson providing the ARP 2600 synthesizers. "Rain Dance" is a really appropriate title, with Patrick Gleeson proving a bunch of synth effects that sound like rain drop patterns. It's loaded with lots of electronic sound effects, plus the jazzy sound in a more experimental manner that's sure to scare off Kenny G. fans. "Hidden Shadows" features Weather Report-like rhythms, and I really love how the Mellotron peeks in from time to time (Herbie Hancock could have potentially became one of the Mellotron greats, but I'm certain the usual mechanical issues was the reason he gave up on it by 1974, and only used it for a short time). "Hornets" has a bit of that funk influence, with blaxploitation-type drumming and Hancock's use of the clavinet, but even here there's so many trippy and unconventional passages to scare off more mainstream listeners. Of course, Columbia Records did not want more albums like this, and wanted something that would sell, so it's little wonder why Hancock formed a new band, and moved towards a more funk-oriented direction that would sell. To me, Sextant just totally blew me away and convinced me to try his previous albums with this lineup (Crossings, Mwandishi). If you like your fusion off-the-beaten track and non-mainstream, you can't go wrong with this.
Share this review

Review Comments

Post a public comment below | Send private message to the reviewer
Please login to post a shout
No shouts posted yet. Be the first member to do so above!

JMA TOP 5 Jazz ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
A Love Supreme Post Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners
Kind of Blue Cool Jazz
MILES DAVIS
Buy this album from our partners
The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Progressive Big Band
CHARLES MINGUS
Buy this album from our partners
My Favorite Things Hard Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners

New Jazz Artists

New Jazz Releases

Seductive Fantasy Avant-Garde Jazz
SUN RA ARKESTRA UNDER THE DIRECTION OF MARSHALL ALLEN
Buy this album from MMA partners
Tales From Amazonia Fusion
LORD SHAMBLETON
Buy this album from MMA partners
Congratulations to You Jazz Related Improv/Composition
SUN OF GOLDFINGER
Buy this album from MMA partners
Berlin Sessions Latin Rock/Soul
BROWNOUT
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Jazz Online Videos

Touch and Go (Live)
SUSAN TOBOCMAN
js· 20 hours ago
Gary Brunton "Night Bus" 83 Bis
GARY BRUNTON
js· 1 day ago
More videos

New JMA Jazz Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Jazz News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us