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The Return Of The Headhunters by Headhunters

After a more than 20 year absence, the Headhunters are back with a new album. With returning members Bennie Maupin, Paul Jackson, and Mike Clark(who replaced Harvey Mason after the first LP) you would expect something magical. That is just not so, the album falls very short on people's expectations. Herbie Hancock, only plays on 4 of the albums' 10 tracks, and he does not even touch the analog synthesizers, and keyboards such as the ARP, and Fender Rhodes. The tracks Herbie does play on, bring back a little of the magic, but the performances are unmemorable at best. Hancock disciple Billy Childs, who is a fine player, takes over the keyboard chair for Herbie on most of the tracks, he only really lets go on "Premonition" playing a Fender solo reminiscient of Hancock's best ones. Also, the production goes for much more of a contemporary top 40 feel, that it pales in comparison to the original faultless production of the bands 1973 classic. The group enlists vocalist N'Dea Davenport from the Acid Jazz group "The Brand New Heavies" as well as rapper Trevant Hardson, of the group "The Pharcyde", to do a number called "Watch Your Back", which is a Hip-Hop/R&B specifically geared towards trying to hit pop radio, and it is a failed attempt in doing so. The group also tries to make Smooth Jazz radio, with a very weak R&B number "Frankie&Kevin" featuring Childs on keyboards, and Bennie Maupin. All in all, I can't really recommend this album, it's shades of what the group once was, and it tries to reach too far in a legacy it can't continue. Go for Herbie's new release "Gershwin's World" instead

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Headhunters
  • CD Title: The Return Of The Headhunters
  • Genre: Other
  • Year Released: 1998
  • Record Label: Unknown
  • Rating: Four Stars
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