Sextant (album)

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Herbie Hancock Sextant.jpg
Studio album by
Released30 March 1973
Recordedlate 1972
StudioWally Heider, San Francisco, Different Fur Studios, San Francisco
ProducerDavid Rubinson
Herbie Hancock chronology
Head Hunters
Professional ratings
Review scores
Julian Cope(favorable)[5]
Rolling Stone 1998[3]
Rolling Stone 2004[6]
Uppity Music(favorable)[7]
Virgin Encyclopedia[8]
Penguin Guide to Jazz[8]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide[9]

Sextant is the eleventh studio album by Herbie Hancock, released in 1973 by Columbia. It is the last album with the Mwandishi-era sextet featuring saxophonist Bennie Maupin, trumpeter Eddie Henderson, trombonist Julian Priester, bassist Buster Williams and drummer Billy Hart. Synthesizer player Patrick Gleeson and percussionist Buck Clarke also appear.


Released on 30 March 1973, Sextant was Herbie Hancock's first album on Columbia Records,[3] and the last with his Mwandishi-era group. The album showcased Hancock's early adoption of synthesizers and electronic effects.[3]

Upon release, the record was considered to be a commercial flop.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

AllMusic called the album a "gem" which features "a kind of post-modal, free impressionism while gracing the edges of funk."[4] Rolling Stone wrote that, "taking his cue from [Miles] Davis' swirling, anarchic Bitches Brew and On the Corner, Hancock went even further into outer space [...] much of Sextant, with its twittering, burbling effects, amounts to a primitive version of Nineties ambient music."[3] The album was called an "uncompromising avant-funk masterpiece" by Paste Magazine.[2]

Track listing[edit]

All songs by Herbie Hancock

1."Rain Dance"9:16
2."Hidden Shadows"10:11



  1. ^ Little, Michael H. "Graded on a Curve: Herbie Hancock, Head Hunters". The Vinyl District. Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  2. ^ a b Jarnow, Jesse. "Herbie Hancock: Cafe Curiosity". Paste. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Scherman, Tony (2011). "Sextant : Herbie Hancock : Review : Rolling Stone". Archived from the original on 24 February 2009. Retrieved 16 July 2011.
  4. ^ a b Jurek, Thom (2011). "Sextant - Herbie Hancock | AllMusic". Retrieved 16 July 2011.
  5. ^ Cope, Julian (2011). "Julian Cope presents Head Heritage | Unsung | Reviews | Herbie Hancock - Sextant". Retrieved 16 July 2011.
  6. ^ RSguide, 2004
  7. ^ "Uppity Music: Herbie Hancock: Sextant (1973)". 2008. Retrieved 16 July 2011.
  8. ^ a b "Acclaimed Music - Sextant". Acclaimed Music. 2010. Retrieved 16 July 2011.
  9. ^ Swenson, J., ed. (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. U.S.: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 94. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.

External links[edit]