I’m not gonna lie. Shit has been S-T-R-E-S-S-F-U-L lately; with work, with training and with life. The good news is that I accomplished both workouts today and I’m sitting down now with my dinner tonight and enjoying something that HRH and I have been saving for a special occasion. You can read “special occasion” as: mommy is at work so we can play it LOUD!, bitches.
I’m referring to the incredible ‘Head Hunters‘ album by Herbie Hancock.
This gem of an album was procured by Uncle Lance and Auntie Amy for HRH, which had been on her “To Find” list for months. This album also happens to be one of Auntie Amy’s Desert Island album selections, as it is for me as well.
Shit is about to get real.
And, yes, Herbie Hancock is also the same dude who composed the theme music for Bill Cosby‘s animated prime-time television special ‘Hey, Hey, Hey, It’s Fat Albert’.
Having said that, if that’s all you know about Herbie – shame on you!
‘Head Hunters‘ (1973) was a pivotal point in Herbie’s career, bringing him into the vanguard of jazz fusion. Hancock had pushed avant-garde boundaries previously on his own albums and with Miles Davis, but he had never devoted himself to the groove as he did on this album.
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 by Miles Davis’ ‘Kind of Blue‘ and Vince Guaraldi’s ‘A Boy Named Charlie Brown‘). Jazz purists, of course, decried the experiments at the time, but ‘Head Hunters‘ still sounds fresh and vital decades after its initial release – mind-blowing actually – and its genre-bending proved vastly influential on not only jazz, but funk, soul, and hip-hop.
The album was ranked #498 in the book version of Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and in 2007, the Library of Congress added it to the National Recording Registry.
As for the kiddo?
Well, you see the look on her face up above right?
‘Chameleon‘ was definitely a big as hit as was the pure weirdness of ‘Watermelon Man‘. While I won’t deny Side One’s awesomeness, I’m more inclined to side with Side Two’s ‘Sly’ . I mean, really you can’t go wrong with this album.
Definitely a fantastic addition to HRH‘s album collection.