When Herbie Hancock’s cyberspatial voyaging Sextant fell to an ungrateful earth in early ’73, he immediately put together the five-piece Headhunters band. A radical departure from the previous band, their eponymous debut was an audaciously fresh blend of Miles electric spaces, Sly Stone R&B vamps, Motherland percussives and Hancock’s rococco swing. A crossover platinum success, Headhunters made the pianist a most unlikely pop star. Influential in its time, even Herbie couldn’t imagine the impact his new music would have first on ’80s jazz-funk and hip hop and later, ’90s acid jazz.
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