I’d be committing a crime if I went too far into the jazz-fusion albums without bringing up one of the more groundbreaking albums of the genre and a turning point in the career of keyboard player Herbie Hancock, “Head Hunters.”

Cover of "Head Hunters"
Cover of Head Hunters

Hancock was already a well-known name in the jazz world by the time “Head Hunters” came out in 1973, playing straight jazz keys for legends like Miles Davis and on some solo work before this.  This was the album that pushed him squarely into the fusion world — fusion in that it was jazz mixed with soul, funk, and rhythm-and-blues, with the kind of improv you don’t find in soul, funk, and R&B, through all of four songs.

It was a blend that worked very well.  For a while, “Head Hunters” was the top-selling jazz album of all time.  Alas, Hancock is known for being a bit, errr, restless, so the Headhunters band led by him with Bennie Maupin on wind instruments, Harvey Mason on drums, Paul Jackson on bass, and Bill Summers on percussion would be relatively short-lived.

They left a mighty big fusion footprint, though.

5 thoughts on “My music playlist for today (May 15, 2012 edition)

  1. Good tunage, John.The follow up record,Thrust,is,imo, even better than the first.Plenty o’steaming instrumental funk galore.Can i get an amen?–Walt

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