The Headhunters have the previous distinction of being the strongest early component of Herbie Hancock's slick vision of jazz-fusion coupled with popular sensibilities. The band's association with Hancock resulted in 1973's Head Hunters
, a disc that outsold the previously invincible Bitches Brew
by Miles Davis. HeadHunters
represented the apex of Hancock's fusion vision and the band, subsequently known as the Headhunters, was to return for four additional recordings by the pianist.
As a "solo" act, the Headhunters have also met with some commercial success . Return of the Headhunters (1998) and Survival of the Fittest (2001) were both critically well received. In early 2002, the Headhunters joined the ranks of Basin Street Records, partially, I am sure, because of Bill Summers' association with Los Hombres Calientes.
The present incarnation of the Headhunters retains only Bill Summers and Paul Jackson from the original band. Summers' participation in Los Hombres Calientes is evident in the overall tone and mood of the recording. That is, both bands produce infectious, well-produced and performed brands of jazz (albeit of different genres). These tunes mostly are funk-inflected contemporary jazz with touches of Maceo Parker and James Brown, usually based on simple grooves in a rhythm section made for supporting short and tasteful soloing. Some jazzheads are on handNicholas Payton, Irvin Mayfieldplus former Headhunters Harvey Mason and Bennie Maupin.
The Headhunters are above all fun. This is very listenable and danceable music that is sure to dovetail well with the labelmates of the Band.
Personnel: Mike Clark: Drums; Paul Jackson Bass; Bill Summers: Percussion; Ronald Markham: Keyboards;
Nicholas Payton: Trumpet; Victor Atkins: Piano; Donald Harrison: Saxophones; George Porter,