Herbie Hancock – Head hunters – 1974

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Herbie Hancock – Head hunters – 1974

Postby Roland Bru » Wed Oct 08, 2008 5:02 pm

Herbie Hancock grew up in groups by trumpeter Miles Davis in the 1960’s. He’s a jazz musician. He plays the piano. So buy this album if that’s your cup of tea. Sorry, that’s a poor joke, because this album sounds nothing like you would expect from that info. This is actually more a funk or jazz rock album not unlike Miles own ventures at the time (early 1970’s). There is no electric guitar however and obviously there are more prominent keyboards.

On the whole one could describe this as instrumental funk. The main song, Chameleon, is a deserved classic, from the funky bass line to the drum pattern. Once this groove is established every player in the band gets a chance to shine, and Herbie takes several chances, with many different (sounding) keyboards. The next song, Watermelon man starts more acoustic with flutes sounding like birds which are most likely played by synthesizers. The way new sounds and instruments are added to the simple vamp is interesting to hear, and the part, nearly two minutes in, where acoustic saxophones are introduced is something to behold, because of the very good use of dynamics. Sly is dedicated to Sly Stone, funkmeister supreme (apart from Parliament/Funkadelic and other George Clinton associated ventures and some James Brown), but does not actually sound a lot like Sly did on his albums of the time. The last song, Vein Melter, is the slowest of the bunch and sounds the most like it could have come from a Miles Davis album of the time with added string syth. All in all a solid and in a way groundbreaking jazz album, but something to go for only if you go for long, funky, instrumental songs that set a mood.
Roland Bru
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Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2008 5:11 pm

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