81

Something Else! Sneak Peek: The Headhunters, "Tracie" (2011)

SOURCE:

Sign in to view read count
The Headhunters have completed an ambitious new jazz release—one that continues to push the edges of fusion, incorporating hip hop and funk with the presence of Snoop Dogg and George Clinton, yet still retains the band's fonky core sound. That's perhaps nowhere better heard than on this standout track from Platinum, to be issued by the Owl Studios label on June 14.

The Latin-tinged “Tracie" begins with a bass line from Richie Goods that sounds like a question mark, surrounded by a sensual, undulating rhythm that's become something a trademark for the Headhunters. Direct connections from their original incarnation as the hip-shaking backing group for Herbie Hancock's blockbuster 1973 collaboration Head Hunters arrive in the form of Bill Summers and Mike Clark, still this rumbling presence on percussion and drums, as well as original Headhunters saxophonist Bennie Maupin. Also featured: altoist Donald Harrison (with Summers and Clark since 2001), and trumpeter Derrick Gardner.

Written in memory of Summers' late wife, the tune finds Maupin switching to tenor—and very nearly stealing the show. But then Gardner provides this sharp, incisive contrast to the fuller, more boisterous sound of a group of saxophones that also includes Rob Dixon, almost like a fast-talking old friend. It's the perfect counterpoint. When the wider group rejoins for a restatement of the main theme, the song flirts with reverie for a moment, but then regathers itself for another brilliant round of soloing. Clark and Summers are joined on the timbales by Alexei Marti, and together they launch “Tracie" forward into its triumphal fade.

If you worried that a Santana-style merry-go-round of guests might push these reunited Headhunters too far afield, “Tracie" quickly, and definitively, puts that to rest.

Continue Reading...

This story appears courtesy of Something Else!.
Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved.

Tags

Watch

Jazz News

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.