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Herbie Hancock - The Herbie Hancock Group: Head Hunters CD (album) cover

THE HERBIE HANCOCK GROUP: HEAD HUNTERS

Herbie Hancock

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.89 | 215 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Herbie had felt that the sextet had reached it's peak by the end of 1972. "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 (sextet) were playing this heavy kind of music, and I was tired of everything being heavy. I wanted to play something lighter". It was while he was chanting that he started to think about Sly Stone and how much he loved his music and how funky it was. As they went into the recording studio his intentions were to do a Funk album. "I wanted to actually do kind of a Funk album. I didn't know it was going to be a combination Jazz and Funk at the time that we started off". He goes on to say that "Miles had a major influence on "Head Hunters", especially on tunes like "Sly" and "Vein Melter"". I was set to be disappointed with this one but was pleasantly surprised. Although in my opinion it doesn't come close to the brilliance "Crossings" or "Sextant".

"Chameleon" is very funky to start out. Piano a minute in and horns follow. This is really catchy. Clavinet comes in after 4 minutes (as the funkiness is relaxed) and continues to lead until after 7 1/2 minutes when the bass and drums dominate. Electric piano joins in and this mellotron-like sound that comes and goes. The drums are fantastic throughout. Back to funky town 13 1/2 minutes in to end it. "Watermelon Man" was something Herbie had done with Donald Byrd about a decade earlier. It has this interesting intro with flute, vocal expressions and other sounds coming and going. Electric piano and horns come in before 2 minutes then it ends like it began. Cool tune.

"Sly" is dedicated to Sly Stone. Drums, bass and piano to open. It settles in before a minute. The intro soundscape returns then the tempo picks up 2 1/2 minutes in and the sax is all over it. So much going on here.Impressive. It settles down some around 5 1/2 minutes as piano takes the place of the sax. Check out hancock on the piano after 8 minutes ! A change 9 1/2 minutes in as it calms down then the intro soundscape returns. "Vein Melter" is laid back with horns, bass, piano and drums. Mellotron before 2 1/2 minutes and later as well.

Barely 4 stars from me although there's enough of the Jazz element and Miles Davis influence to get me excited at times.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |

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