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The Headhunters

The Headhunters represented a major turning point for Herbie Hancock, whose approach to fusion became slicker and more commercial (though not without substance or integrity) with the formation of this popular band in 1973. Before that, the chameleonic pianist/keyboardist had been leading a daring unit called the Sextant, which fused jazz, R&B, and rock with world music and took more than its share of chances. But regrettably, the Sextant's three albums for Warner Bros. were modest sellers at best, so in 1973, he disbanded the Sextant and formed the Headhunters. Employing saxman/clarinetist Bennie Maupin (a holdover from the Sextant), bassist Paul Jackson, Jr., drummer Harvey Mason, and percussionist Bill Summers, Hancock made a point of being more accessible when he unveiled the Headhunters with his 1973 Columbia date Head Hunters. Fusing jazz with funk and rock, the album sold over a million copies and attracted many R&B and rock fans. In fact, Head Hunters even outsold Miles Davis' popular B**ches Brew. Defined by the catchy "Chameleon" (which was interpreted by jazz singer Eddie Jefferson in 1976 and sampled by various rappers in the '80s and '90s) and a funky remake of his 1962 boogaloo "Watermelon Man," Headhunters set the tone for subsequent Columbia projects with the Headhunters, including Thrust (1974), Man-Child (1975), Secrets (1976), and Sunlight (1977). By the end of the decade, the Headhunters were no more, and Hancock was turning his attention to everything from outright R&B to standards and acoustic post-bop. In the '90s, Sony's Legacy label reissued most of the Headhunters' work on CD, and in 1998 the group reunited to record Return of the Headhunters! ~ Alex Henderson
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Platinum

1. Platinum Intro

2. Mission Statement

3. Reality Of It

4. Salamander

5. I Predict A Good Year

6. D-Funk (Funk With Us)

7. I Feel Really Good About

8. Tracie

9. Rehearse Everybody

10. Paging Mr. Wesley

11. M Trane

12. Apple Tree

13. Palm Nut

14. Years Of Touring

15. Congo Place

16. On The Road

17. Head Hunting

18. Skizness

19. Soul Glow

20. Platinum Outro

x

Track List: Survival Of The Fittest

1. God Make Me Funky

3. Here And Now

4. Daffy's Dance

5. Rima

6. If You've Got It, You'll Get It

x

Track List: High Fly

1. High Fly

Comments

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Buleighbro5 : Harvey Mason was Herbies Drummer in the beginning of the HeadHunters.
Report as inappropriate
No mention of Mike Clark? Wasn't he the drummer on Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters?
Report as inappropriate
Herbie's Bay-area band was the TRUTH; Survival Of The Fittest was a classic....
Report as inappropriate
I'm old skool we jam back in the day to this jam!
Report as inappropriate
hard to believe this funk's not been more popular...fu n k on herbie, keep on funkin'
Report as inappropriate
That bass line at times reminds me of Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) by Sly and the Family Stone and it also reminds me of I Just want to celebrate by Rare Earth. Herbie admits that Sly Stone and James Brown are his influences while working with the head hunters and that they usually worked around the bass line
Report as inappropriate
God made me funky- one of the funkiest tunes.... and God made me funky... and them too.....

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