Herbie Hancock's best seller — a jazz-funk masterpiece now on 180-gram vinyl!
Mastered at Sterling Sound by Ryan Smith
Plated and pressed at Quality Record Pressings!
Stoughton Printing old-style deluxe film-lamination tip-on jacket
Head Hunters became not only Herbie Hancock's best-selling album, but also the second highest selling jazz album of all time (at last RIAA count). It was in 1973 that he gathered a new band to combine electric music with funk, perhaps best exemplified in the pop music of Sly Stone.
Hancock took over all synthesizer duties, along with Fender Rhodes and clavinet and was backed by bass and drums. The opening bars of "Watermelon Man" with Bill Summers blowing into a beer bottle, along with the band's funky grooves and new electric sounds, captured the crossover fans who had otherwise avoided buying jazz records.
Head Hunters was a pivotal point in Hancock's career, bringing him into the vanguard of jazz fusion. Hancock had pushed avant-garde boundaries on his own albums and with Miles Davis, but he had never devoted himself to the groove as he did on Head Hunters. Drawing heavily from Sly Stone, Curtis Mayfield and James Brown, Hancock developed deeply funky, even gritty, rhythms over which he soloed on electric synthesizers, bringing the instrument to the forefront in jazz. It had all of the sensibilities of jazz, particularly in the way it wound off into long improvisations, but its rhythms were firmly planted in funk, soul and R&B, giving it a mass appeal that made it the biggest-selling jazz album of all time (a record which was later broken).
Jazz purists, of course, decried the experiments at the time, but Head Hunters still sounds fresh and vital four decades after its initial release, and its genre-bending proved vastly influential on not only jazz, but funk, soul and hip-hop.