I first heard Head Hunters played on a Boom Box on August 10th 1979 on tape, waiting to enter Navy Pear and into the abyss of Chicago Fest which that day featured Gil Scott-Heron, Albert King, The Flying Burrito Brothers and many more. I do believe I was one of four white men/boys.

It was music like I had never heard before and people were moving to it like I have never seen before. Chameleon, which I later discovered to be some 15 minutes and 41 seconds long was simply hypnotizing, lulling you into thinking that it is all about an easy groove and just when you settle into the groove… SLAP! And welcome to a world of jazz fusion psychedelia.

How an album with NO spoken words can end up in my top 100 list of albums to play back to front I still don’t know today, but after examining my listening habits Headhunters is indeed one of those albums.

Distancing himself from his early jazz roots Herbie takes inspiration from James Brown, Curtis Mayfield and Sly Stone and emerges with his own brand of Funk which later became a staple and influenced thousands of artists in all future musical genres including Soul, R&B, Jazz, Fusion and of course Hip Hop. But back to the first time I heard it. I had of course NO idea who was jamming out of the boom box and for sure I did not muster enough courage to ask. Coincidence would have it that one week later I find myself inside a Chicago record shop and I was immediately captivated by this record’s cover. I immediately bought the record solely on the cover (Victor Moscoso psychedelic art!) went home, dropped the needle and out came Chameleon! Head started bobbing… feet started to shuffle while standing still, shoulders swaying… I was hooked for life.