Herbie Hancock is one of the most prolific jazz pianists of the 20th century. A child prodigy, he played with the greats such as Donald Byrd and Miles Davis. As he was a bit of a geek, he enjoyed gadgets & buttons and he was one of the first to embrace and master the electric piano, but he always stayed true to the acoustic sound. In fact, he always bounced back and forth between his electronic and acoustic sound, touching upon almost every development in R&B, Funk and Jazz while retaining an original and distinctive voice.
“Head Hunters” (1973) was the first offering of Herbie‘s new backing band, the Head Hunters. In his own words: “I began to feel that I had been spending so much time exploring the upper atmosphere of music and the more ethereal kind of far-out spacey stuff. Now there was this need to take some more of the earth and to feel a little more tethered; a connection to the earth….I was beginning to feel that we (the sextet) were playing this heavy kind of music, and I was tired of everything being heavy. I wanted to play something lighter.”
This is one of Herbie‘s funkiest records and one of the best selling albums in Jazz, due to the fact it appealed to a broad audience – think Hip Hop, Funk, Soul & Jazz Funk fans. With “Head Hunters“, Hancock claims a stake in Jazz with his infectuous synthesizers and clavinet melodies on top of a supertight groove, augmented by subtile horn soloing. Classic songs such as “Chameleon” and “Watermelon Man” are living proof of his genius and ability to craft a coherent jazz fusion album. Special mention for drummer Harvey Mason, bassist Paul Jackson and reedist Bernie Maupin (who also contributed to Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew.
Music On Vinyl