Add Weather Report’s bass mastermind Jaco Pastorius, arguably in his prime, and regular Hancock collaborators Bennie Maupin and James Levi and the show simply can’t go wrong.
Opening with Head Hunters classic “Chameleon” the band locks into a slow funk groove courtesy of Pastorius’ ever-confident bass. The even funkier “Hang Up Your Hang Ups” follows, allowing the band to really pick up steam. Maupin’s sax solo takes lead and maintains the song’s intensity throughout.
“Maiden Voyage” gives Hancock the spotlight, Pastorius following his every move. “It Remains To Be Seen” shifts moods constantly to allow each member a shot at soloing, the bass grooves holding the band together.
Though this recording (from an XRT live broadcast) is cut off just as Hancock introduces a new tune, these four tracks are a must-hear for fans of the Head Hunters or Pastorius. This is jazz-fusion at its best.
- Alex Wood
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