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  • Magic Windows

    On 1981’s Magic Windows, Herbie Hancock updates his synth-funk groove from disco to R&B. As on Monster, he brings in guest vocalists in place of the vocoder. Gavin Christopher returns to sing on a few of the album’s tracks, including the P-Funk “Everybody’s Broke,” and Sylvester adds his vocals over the Escovedo family’s Latin percussion on opener “Magic Number.” Michael Brecker’s tenor sax can also be heard on “Tonight’s the Night” and “Help Yourself.” (Brecker would join Hancock 20 years later for the Miles Davis and John Coltrane tribute Directions in Music.) The most noteworthy track of the group, however, is techno-funk closer “The Twilight Clone.” Featuring Hancock on a variety of synths, including an Alpha Syntauri, it also features an unexpected collaboration with guitarist Adrian Belew (King Crimson). With a Talking Heads-like polyrhythm, the song predicts the direction Hancock would take a couple years later with Bill Laswell and “Rockit.”

    Magic Windows Catalog Number:  Columbia 85144

    Magic Windows Track Listing:

    Side One

    1. Magic Number – 7:21

    2. Tonight’s the Night – 6:28

    3. Everybody’s Broke – 7:05

    Side Two

    1. Help Yourself – 6:40

    2. Satisfied with Love – 6:28

    3. The Twilight Clone – 8:15

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