Herbie Hancock And The Headhunters – Jazz Fusion Legends

Herbie Hancock and his band, The Headhunters, are American jazz rock/jazz fusion legends which have co-pioneered this particular genre of music alongside other renowned musical groups such as Weather Report, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, or The Crusaders.

The Headhunters, formed around, by, and fronted by Herbie Hancock, have been active since 1973 onwards and have made a solid name for themselves by meddling jazz with funk and rock influences. Being initially dissatisfied with his former band, Mwandishi, Hancock wanted to form a brand new band which would have a stronger funk sound. He eventually did so with the creation of The Headhunters, before he came up with the band’s name while meditating in Buddhist style.

The name of the band actually reflects intellectual pursuits, the jungle per se as well as sexual activity, being, as such, a triple reference with both cultural and natural essences. In 1973, when the band was started, the group had the following line-up:

  • Herbie Hancock (keyboards);
  • Bennie Maupin (saxophone and clarinet);
  • Harvey Mason (drums):
  • Paul Jackson (bass);
  • Bill Summers (percussion).

Their debut studio album entitled ‘Head Hunters’ was released during the same year as their formation, namely in 1973, and sold more than 1 million units, being issued through Columbia. Being both a critical and commercial success among many old fans, Herbie Hancock and The Headhunters have long time ago achieved critical and amassed even more recognition on behalf of newer generation of fans as time passed by.

Herbie Hancock and The Headhunters in 1975. Image source: Commons Wikimedia

Between 1973 and 2018, the band had released a total number of 8 studio albums and 1 live album. They were initially affiliated with Columbia Records, but, throughout the decades, they changed their label to Arista, Verve, Basin Street, BHM Productions, or Owl Studios, and even self-released their latest studio album from 2018 titled ‘Speakers in the House‘.

Below is a fine selection of my all time most favourite songs by Herbie Hancock and The Headhunters. I truly hope you will like listening to them! All the best, much health, take care, stay safe, many blessings, and great peace your way! God bless you and keep on listening to jazz fusion!

And here’s a most favourite gem by Herbie Hancock:

Documentation sources and external links:

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