Herbie Hancock: Sleeping Giant


Sleeping Giant


Herbie Hancock (piano, Fender Rhodes, Hohner D-6 clavinet, mellotron)


Crossings (Warner 247542)

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Herbie Hancock (piano, Fender Rhodes, Hohner D-6 clavinet, mellotron),

Dr. Eddie Henderson (trumpet, flugelhorn), Julian Priester (bass trombone, tenor trombone, alto trombone, cowbell), Bennie Maupin (soprano sax, bass clarinet, piccolo, afuche, hum-a-zoo), Dr. Patrick Gleeson (ARP 2600 and soloist), Billy Hart (drums), Buck Clarke (percussion)


Composed by Herbie Hancock


Recorded: San Mateo, CA, February 1972


Rating: 88/100 (learn more)

On "Sleeping Giant," the music is stripped of emotion and is only meant to connect with the listener from the surface level. Rhythms are straightforward, the form changes several times, and any connection to jazz is purely superficial. It could have been split into several different tracks; all maintain a constant percussive clicking and cowbell, and the bass seems to be constantly soloing. The track reflects a growing fascination with the role of the producer in music's creation. At times, the obvious studio trickery overshadows some rather tasty playing, as chronic segues purposefully interrupt the quest to break new ground. The track owes more to technology than to the performers, as instrumental contributions are superseded by tape loops, stereo delay effects and electronically generated vibrations. The music is weighty; an apparent urban jungle theme is conveyed, and several sections recall the relative simplicity of rhythm and blues. The sound takes on the character of King Kong stalking New York City streets, and the performance ultimately merges both artificial elements and those that are real.

Reviewer: Marcus Singletary


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