Headhunters – Herbie Hancock (1973)

November 13, 2008


What a wonderful blast from the past it was to listen to this album today!

You see, I have hundreds of vinyl LPs that haven’t I haven’t listened to in decades because I have yet to replace them digitally. Plus, getting them out of their storage boxes to play them on the turntable in the basement is a bit of a trial — so they remain out of sight and out of mind.

Well yesterday, the CD I wanted to purchase to blog about was not at Walmart or Best Buy so I logged on the Buy.Com where I had downloaded a few Cd’s in the past, only to find that they only sold Cd’s and not MP3s any longer.

That meant I had to finally give Amazon MP3s a try since if refuse to go the I-tunes/i-Pod route. Once I started to search for my CD, I came across some “special/sale” MP3s downloads and what do I see but “Headhunters” for less than $4.00!

I never did purchase what I started to — but got this great funk/jazz classic that I had not heard since the Eighties or so. And you know what? It sounds just as marvelous now as it did back in the day.

It is so great that Amazon has it as a featured item. Thank you Amazon.com for proving my point that Everything Old is New Again!


Child pianist prodigy and musical chameleon Herbie Hancock made this classic four track album with a group of artists dubbed The Headhunters. Members included: Herbie Hancock on all keyboards, electric pianos, clavinet & synthesizers; Bennie Maupin on saxophones, saxello, clarinets, flutes, lyricon; Paul Jackson on bass guitar; Harvey Mason & Mike Clark on drums; Bill  Summers on percussion; and Blackbyrd McKnight on electric guitar.

This release in 1973 on Columbia Records charted #2 R&B , #1 Jazz and #13 Pop in 1974.

The four tracks on the LP are:

1. Chameleon – This single from the LP charted #18 R&B and #42 Pop.

2. Watermelon Man

3. Sly

4. Vein Melter

This LP apparently holds some historical significance.  There is a book penned by Steven F. Pond, Assistant Professor of Music at Cornell University, entitled “Head Hunters: The Making of Jazz’s First Platinum Album.”

According to this promotional link, this book is —

“The story of one of the most influential and controversial jazz recordings of the twentieth century.”

I am going to add this one to my “must read” list.

Do grab a cup of tea, prop up your feet and groove along to all 15 plus minutes of “Chameleon.” You will be glad you did.



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