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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Herbie Hancock

Sunlight & Feets Don't Fail Me Now

Review by Gary Hill

The discussion of progressive rock or not on this one is rather obvious. No, it's not prog. However, we generally put fusion under prog, and in many ways this is fusion. Additionally, if any jazz musicians have been open to new technologies and progressing music, Herbie Hancock has to be near the top of the list. This is a compilation of two older albums. Both of them make a lot of usage of vocoder on the vocals. These are both compelling sets, even if they lean towards more pop styles like disco and soul music.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Disc One - Sunlight

                                  
I Thought It Was You

This is intriguing. It's jazz with a lot of funk in the mix. The vocoder on the vocals brings a very different element, though. The jam later in the piece is rather trippy and funky at the same time.

Come Running to Me
The bass work here is particularly impressive. This has some killer grooves and textures. I really like this one a lot. It has some killer vocal parts and some great stuff.
Sunlight
There is so much great funk underway on this. I love the keyboard soloing mid-track and the bass work is awesome, too.
No Means Yes
This instrumental is a pretty amazing jam. It's definitely one of the best cuts here. I love it.
Good Question
Another instrumental, this really gets into some killer fusion territory. This is a highlight of the set, too. The piano gets pretty crazed at times. The whole piece gets intensely strange and inspired. The bass work is insane, as well.
I Thought It Was You (7" Single Version)
This alternate version of the opening track is more of a pop type piece.
Come Running to Me (7" Single Version)
Another single version, this one retains more of the jazz qualities.
Disc: 2
You Bet Your Love - There is a definite disco styled rhythm section here. The cut still has a lot of fusion built into it, though. The jamming later on this cut gets really intense and effective.
Trust Me
I love the vocoder performance on this. The cut is a mellow, balladic kind of fusion piece. It's a very classy tune.
Ready or Not
Here we get a really funky groove. I like this a lot. I love some of the keyboard work on this for sure.
Tell Everybody
I really love the funky sound here. Then again, I'm a sucker for good funk. This is still full on fusion, but it's oh so funky.
Honey from the Jar
This has such a cool soulful groove. It's less jazz than some of the other material here. It's no less cool, though.
Knee Deep
An instrumental with funk, jazz, pop and electronic music merging, this is classy stuff.
You Bet Your Love
An alternate version of the opening track, I like this quite a bit. Sure, it's disco oriented, but it works well.
Ready or Not (7" Single Version)
If anything the jamming on this single version is more prominent than on the album version.
Tell Everybody (7" Single Version)
Now, this is very much a dance club mix of the cut. It still works pretty well in that format, though.
Honey from the Jar (7" Single Version)
This single take has a great groove.
You Bet Your Love (Special Disco Version)
The parenthetical describes this well. It's still an effective tune in this format.
Tell Everybody (Disco Version)

We're looking at more truth in advertising here. It's a good groove in this format.

 
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