Herbie Hancock: Hidden Shadows


Hidden Shadows


Herbie Hancock and Mwandishi


Sextant (Columbia 64983)

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Herbie Hancock (keyboards), Eddie Henderson (flugelhorn), Julian Priester (trombone), Buster Williams (electric bass), Billy Hart (drums).

Composed by Herbie Hancock


Recorded: San Francisco, 1973


Rating: 80/100 (learn more)

Before he got the fusion formula right with Headhunters, Hancock tested the crossover waters with his Mwandishi ensemble, a high-energy funk band that caused the lights to dim every time it plugged in its large arsenal of electronic equipment. But the groove on "Hidden Shadows," from the Sextant LP, is not strong enough to sustain the 10-minute performance. The multilayered sound swallows up the soloists, and the monotonous bassline needs a stronger hook if it wants to catch some fish. Hancock was funkier on his acoustic outings "Watermelon Man" and "Cantaloupe Island" and on his fusion hit "Chameleon."

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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