Customer Reviews


25 Reviews
5 star:
 (19)
4 star:
 (3)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The coolest album....ever.
If there was ever an introduction that embodied the complete essence of its album, it must be the famous bass line that begins Chameleon. From the opening note, a sense of cool is established that never lets up but for the furious solos on Sly.

Where do you start with Chameleon? It is a staple of funk music, a tune that is known to people who have never...
Published on 12 Oct 2006 by The Fish

versus
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What the funk?
My 2004 edition of The Penguin Guide to Jazz tells me this is `the biggest selling jazz record of all time`. My question is: why?
I`ve tried and tried over the years with this `73 album from a man whom I admire and respect as much as almost any jazz musician - the genius who gave us Maiden Voyage and Empyrean Isles a decade earlier - but I simply don`t hear what is...
Published 24 months ago by GlynLuke


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The coolest album....ever., 12 Oct 2006
This review is from: Head Hunters (Audio CD)
If there was ever an introduction that embodied the complete essence of its album, it must be the famous bass line that begins Chameleon. From the opening note, a sense of cool is established that never lets up but for the furious solos on Sly.

Where do you start with Chameleon? It is a staple of funk music, a tune that is known to people who have never listened to jazz in their life, arguably the most famous genre crossover piece in history. BUT, bizarrely, it's perhaps the weakest track on Head Hunters, simply because of the quality of the tunes that follow.

Watermelon Man, funked up from Hancock's Takin' Off (Blue Note, 1963) standard, is given a lazy, half time feel, and easily eclipses the original. Sly, is where the cool feel of the album is briefly broken for insanely energetic solos by Bennie Maupin and then Herbie. The album is finished off with Vein Melter- a deeply chilled out effort that recalls Crossings' (Warner Bros, 1971) Water Torture, and returns the album's tone back into the blue.

Head Hunters is not a perfect album(witness the drums and the bass disagreeing over tempo after the electric piano solo on Chameleon, or Vein Melter's dodgy synth strings), but I like to think that no other jazz-funk album, Hancock's or anyone elses, has ever surpassed it. It remains one of my favourite albums, and a great introduction to Herbie Hancock's funk music.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Headhunters: Herbie Hancock - Herbie goes funk for one of the best jazz/rock fusion albums., 23 Aug 2012
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Head Hunters (Audio CD)
1973's Headhunters from Jazz great Herbie Hancock is a bit of an oddity in my collection. It is the one jazz rock fusion record that I actually like. Recorded just three short years after his former band leader Miles Davis had broken into the genre with Bitches Brew, Hancock manages to do what (in my opinion) Miles couldn't, and produces a fusion record that really works. With his electric piano and a talented group behind him he lays down a funky groove that is totally accessible to all. He even re-records watermelon man, a hit from his debut album 10 years previously, and transforms it into a slow burning funk classic.

And it is the word `accesssible' that is the key to this - with is experiments in dissonance and complex meandering improvisations Miles Davis was almost challenging people to enjoy Bitches Brew, but Hancock throws open the door and invites you inside for a night of dancing. It's all clever stuff, but it is enjoyable music that gets your dancing feet going as well.

This release is the Columbia 1997 reissue. It has an excellent mastering, with a clear sound. The original album is here with no extras, which seems a little bit of a shame but there you go.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essence of jazz-funk, 2 Jun 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Headhunters (Audio CD)
Head Hunters heralded the birth of the jazz funk era, characterised by the use of jazz reeds, electric bass, guitar and keyboards, a highly defined rhythm driven by a tight bass-and-drum relationship, riff-based compositional devices, use of sudden silences and space as rhythmic elements in themselves, and an overall electric sound that demanded to be played loud.
"Chameleon", the opening track, was immediately recognised as a major contribution to both the jazz canon and the dance canon. No riff in jazz had ever sounded as deep and thrusting as this. In spite of the widespread popularity of "Chameleon" and the legion of admirers who claim it's the greatest jazz funk track ever, the real masterpiece is "Watermelon Man".
It's mildly ironic that the best piece on the album should be one that Hancock had composed early in his career (it first appears on his first album as leader, Takin' Off, Blue Note, 1962). The 1973 version is virtually unrecognisable from the original - it retains only the blues-based progression, and Paul Jackson's detached bass figures wink distantly at Butch Warren's original blues bass line. The composition is constructed cautiously over a light ostinato pipe figure that builds up into a theme dominated by Hancock's Fender Rhodes, alternating between a staccato emphasis on the off-beat and a call-and-response dialogue between Hancock and Bennie Maupin that hovers in eerie suspension over the bass and drums.
Most significantly, the album introduces humour as a central element in the argument: jazz-funk could only be taken seriously as a genre when it mocked itself. Head Hunters drew simultaneously on Herbie Hancock's decade of playing with the jazz greats, the wah-wah sound of Jimi Hendrix's legacy, and the feverish dance sound of Sly Stone and George Clinton. And it did this with the supreme paradoxical humour of simultaneous detachment and involvement that only a master like Hancock could pull off.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funk gone mad, 13 Jun 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Head Hunters (Audio CD)
Herbie Hancock saw in 'intelligent' funk with this album. 'Chameleon' rocks, but the tangy bassline still mocks itself, and 'Sly' is just gorgeous. This album really is highly recommended if you want a cross between jazz and funk that never sounds corny. Not only that, but Hancock adds a touch of gravitas and musicality to the proceedings which not all funk-meisters have been able to do. I agree with the other reviewer: mmmm...nice!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, timeless album, 20 May 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Head Hunters (Audio CD)
This album has an absolutely timeless quality to it for several reasons. The playing of Herbie and the band is nothing short of exhilarating- the improvisation, intensity and sheer funkiness of every piece shining through. The opening track "Chameleon" has got to be one of the most satisfying openers ever. It builds from its simple funky opening into its later mood changes with sharp electronic, pulsing keyboards and earthy rhythms. My other fave piece (even though they're all good) is "Sly" as it is the most ambitious of all the tracks in terms of tempo shifts and group playing- has a mind boggling crescendo. This is jazz which is reaching the boundaries.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't Get This Funk Out Of My Face ..., 2 July 2002
This review is from: Head Hunters (Audio CD)
Interesting that reviewers mention "guitar", because there isn't any.The fact that it isn't missed - indeed, that you assume it's there - speaks volumes for the integrity of the sound. It's one reason why it will never date; everything works together to create a snap-tight funk that grooves but never stagnates, never bores. Play it at any time to feel a whole lot better. The mix of electronica and accoustica (?) was never handled more deftly than here. And everyone except the pipe-sucking jazz purist loves this album, even my mum. Great to dance to, great on headphones, great heard from an open window on a summer's day ...
Great cover, too. And now, stupidly cheap. Buy one for your mum, too.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It melts my veins, 28 Nov 2006
This review is from: Head Hunters (Audio CD)
Anyone who has heard this album and doesn't give it 5 stars needs the doctor. This is the biggest selling jazz album of all time, and rightly so. Its only other near rival is Kind Of Blue (Miles Davis). But this album cannot be compared to any standard jazz output - it is a masterpiece of innovation, a fantastic combination of Sly Stone-inspired US black funk and straight-ahead trio jazz.

It's sensational. Heavy funk riffs, floating electric piano, an unbelievable rhythm section and superb saxophone playing from bennie maupin. This album encapsulates all that was great about 70s fusion, the desire to find new routes through soul, disco, funk, jazz etc. Hancock has proved an absolute master at this - totally at ease in any genre, here he presents the pinnacle of two of the most important american genres: jazz and funk.

There's no point trying to describe the album. Just buy it. If you don't like it, see a doctor.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars SUperb, 9 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Head Hunters (Audio CD)
What can you say? Brilliant. It carries you off.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars a forty year old treasure house, 7 July 2014
By 
David Spanswick (Brighton United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Head Hunters (Audio CD)
Having reached that peculiar age where there would appear to be more past than future I have embarked upon a project of back tracking all the music that has affected me in some way throughout the years

This amazing and boundary busting album from the early 1970s does not disappoint on re hearing, indeed the sounds from Mr Hancock and co transported me back to a carefree summertime with the intensity that true nostalgia can bring.

The album is a jazz funk oriented blast that satisfies every one of my musical molecules; with just four tracks the music can explore and experiment without a trace of longeuse
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Get funky, 5 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Head Hunters (Audio CD)
Years ago I played a cover of Chameleon in band after the drummer gave me a music score with the main riff on it. I never actually heard the original, so about 18 years later I bought the album. It is good - a classic.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Head Hunters
Head Hunters by Herbie Hancock (Audio CD - 1997)
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews