Herbie Hancock had come a long way from his jazz and avant-garde roots to the funky fusionesque 1973 “Head Hunters” album. The beat is so solid and grooves wildly through several somewhat mesmerizing pieces. This album was a pivotal point in his career, pushing the boundaries of jazz with a deep devotion to funky gritty rhythms, drawing heavily from Sly Stone, James Brown, and Curtis Mayfield. Taking extended synthesizer solos, Hancock brought the instrument into the forefront in fusion jazz. With the improvisational sensibilities of jazz, the rhythms are firmly planted in soulful funky sounds of R&B, which give the album a mass appeal that made it the biggest-selling jazz album back in the day.
Of course, this is a required album for any collection, but certainly one to include in your Desert Island Treasure Chest; and for Hi-Res audio fans, surround versions are available on SACD plus one can find audiophile lossless download stereo versions too. Head Hunters still sounds amazingly fresh decades after its original release, and its genre-bending truly proved influential on many levels. The great sound quality and artistry are worthy of endless listens, and let’s just hope the Head Hunters leave you along to listen instead of acting out their given name!
Available on CD and Hi-Res Download, plus with some searching in the secondary markets on SACD 5.1, Vinyl, and Cassette.
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