I hope we never forget how great music can be… here’s Herbie Hancock and The Headhunters playing Chameleon in a live TV performance from 1974/75…

The video starts at the end of the head/main theme, and goes through the solo section to the end.

In addition to perfect mid-70s hair, Herbie Hancock has the perfect mid-70s keyboard rig… Fender Rhodes Suitcase electric piano (with those gorgeous twin speakers), with a Hohner Clavinet on top. On Herbie’s left is his ARP Odyssey Mk 1 synth and on his right he’s got an ARP 2600 – the same instrument used to create the voice of R2D2 in Star Wars.

ARP 2600

This how you rolled in the days before digital and in 1975, Herbie was right at the cutting edge of musical electronics. Drop in at 4’50 for Herbie’s Odyssey solo. It’s totally for the win, especially his dance at 6’38.

Paul Jackson‘s rubber fingers are on bass. Mike Clark (the funkiest white drummer ever?) drops snare hits where you least expect them. Bill Summers is nailing it on pandeiro during Herbie’s Rhodes solo, and Bennie Maupin is on tenor saxophone and percussion.

Approximately 575 million high school jazz bands have murdered this song over the past 30-odd years, (and I’m as guilty as the next guy), so it’s nice to be reminded how it’s supposed to be done. I could watch this repeatedly, all night.

A pretty good mid-1980s version of Chameleon by Herbie and the Rockit Band is also on YouTube (ignore the annoying visuals and listen to the music):

Hung Up in Tokyo

In June 1975, Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters travelled to Japan. Their concerts at Shibuya Konkaido and Nakano Sun Plaza were recorded by Columbia Japan, and subsequently released as the twin-vinyl Japan-only live LP Flood:Live in Japan.

Just one track today, because it’s nearly 20 minutes long, and comes with a 100% “This Will Funk Your World” Guarantee. Herbie Hancock (keyboards), Bennie Maupin (soprano sax), Blackbyrd McKnight (gt), Paul Jackson (b), Mike Clark (d), Bill Summers (perc).

Herbie Hancock – Hang Up Your Hang Ups (Live) – 19’54
From 洪水 Live In Japan: Columbia SCRS 9341 [Buy]

Merci à Dom chez PODvains pour son review de mon blog, meme si ma contribution au blogosphere n’est que modeste et flambante anglosaxonne – ” le néo-zélandais de la bande qui cause français” Haha, c’est trop gentil..

And hello to Siggidóri at Skonrokk, who linked to etnobofin in Icelandic, and describes the contents as “Óhætt að mæla með þeirri eðal músík”. Skonrokk on ice is well worth a visit for some surprising music from Iceland – Reyjavik is very definitely in the house!