Herbie Hancock
Sextant


4.5
superb


Release Date: 1973 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Nu-tribalism.

Pulse. Feel. Timing. These are the building blocks of rhythm as currently known, and Herbie Hancock’s Sextant gets down to the nitty-gritty of it. Borrowing unabashedly from tribal percussion, Hancock and his Mwandishi-era octet pursue a bare rhythmic feel, strongly recalling African drum circles and early forms of music itself. However, they do this in an incredibly innovative and particular way, as they not only utilize acoustic percussion but also from modular synthesizers and electronic drums. The resulting product is a delightful show of rhythm, in which the octet put forth a futuristic but fundamental-based sound like nothing before it; it’s as if the listener is attaining a small glimpse of what tribal music will sound like hundreds of years from now.

On top of the percussive elements, the octet also pushes the futuristic feel with electronic soundscapes which enhance the advanced harmonic concepts played by the band. Mellotrons, clavinets, and a variety of synthesizers (as well as an occasional acoustic piano) played by Hancock provide a solid foundation whilst texturizing the music further. The rest of the members melodically play off the keys with a variety of instruments. These range from saxophones, clarinets, and trumpets to flugelhorns and Hum-A-Zoos. Naturally, a huge array of sonic capabilities is explored on the record, resulting in an incredible amount of color through sound. Vivid avant-tinged soundscapes are thrust on the listener throughout the album’s 40-minute runtime in an unapologetically brazen manner.

Although Sextant fascinates with its unique sound, it can be slightly overwhelming at times. The mixture and modernization of the wide range of musical ideas seen on the record is rather jarring at times, proving undeniably esoteric. However, the record is more rewarding because of it, as musical ideas can be extrapolated from it in a seemingly endless fashion. New themes and concepts transpire with each new listen. Sextant, Herbie’s most innovative outing, is a truly remarkable album that cannot be properly experienced until heard, and it is absolutely advisable one does so. Time to groove.



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user ratings (124)
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
50iL
June 12th 2018


5262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Stream: https://open.spotify.com/album/0J6PpQHDOcr54tXvh1MMCr?si=Yn7TqjPoSW-E27ylbTVhlQ

Special thanks to granitenotebook and Bloon for proofreading this review!

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Bloon
Contributing Reviewer
June 12th 2018


2991 Comments


More like herbie hancuck...

Digging: Less Than Jake - Hello Rockview

50iL
June 12th 2018


5262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

*sigh*

bnelso55
June 12th 2018


1338 Comments


Pos'd. Definitely one of his most adventurous outings. It's a grower, but it's great.

50iL
June 12th 2018


5262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks! Yeah, it really is.

TheSpaceMan
June 12th 2018


12344 Comments


nice one dude

50iL
June 12th 2018


5262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks man!

Javastorm
June 12th 2018


22 Comments


Definitely checking this out. Posd

50iL
June 12th 2018


5262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks Java!

someguest
June 13th 2018


29931 Comments


This record really laid the foundation for Head Hunters. It's much more directionless and out there.

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
June 13th 2018


19068 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yes



yes



yes



yes man

Digging: Lightning Bolt - Sonic Citadel

50iL
June 13th 2018


5262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@someguest Agreed hard, the funky overtones can really be heard on this

@Fripp m/ m/ m/

GhandhiLion
December 31st 2018


5989 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

rain dance

Digging: The Promise Ring - Nothing Feels Good

50iL
December 31st 2018


5262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It do the music good, yes

SandwichBubble
December 31st 2018


10291 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61m_W1uCoxg

GhandhiLion
December 31st 2018


5989 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

a 10



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