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  • Sextant

    Sextant is the final album from Herbie Hancock’s Mwandishi period. Giving the boundaries of electric jazz-fusion one final push before moving to more streamlined funk, Hancock explores post-modal free impressionism and makes extensive use of Patrick Gleeson’s ARP synthesizer. Opener “Rain Dance” was far ahead of its time and could almost be considered ambient electronica. Amidst all of the bleeps and synthesized raindrops, however, is the warm contrast of Buster Williams’ acoustic bass. “Hidden Shadows” is in a 19/4 meter and showcases more of a funk element, as well as one of the most unusual mellotron sounds on record and Eddie Henderson’s biting trumpet solo. Comprising all of Side Two, “Hornets” is dense and dynamic. Henderson’s trumpet flourishes give way to a rush of electronics including Hancock’s processed Fender Rhodes and clavinet. While others like Weather Report were using electric keyboards, none of Hancock’s contemporaries were doing anything this sophisticated or cerebral.

    Sextant Catalog Number:  Columbia C 32212

    Sextant Track Listing:

    Side One

    1. Rain Dance – 9:16

    2. Hidden Shadows – 10:13

    Side Two

    1. Hornets – 19:36

    Get Sextant on Vinyl:

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