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Music Releases (more headlines) 04-25-2011

Bridging Genres & Generations: A Hip-Hop Album For Jazz Fans, A Jazz Album For Hip-Hop Fans – The Headhunters Deliver Bravura Collection: PLATINUM Out 6/14 On Owl Studios

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Website: http://www.owlstudios.com/

Bridging Genres and Generations: A Hip-Hop Album for Jazz Fans, A Jazz Album for Hip-Hop Fans – The Legendary Headhunters Deliver a Bravura Collection

‘Platinum’ is Set for June 14th Release by Owl Studios

Guest Artists Include Snoop Dogg, George Clinton, Killah Priest, Jaecyn Bayne, Private Pile and More

The Legendary Headhunters have delivered a dramatic, sweeping new CD that bridges genres and generations, as it deftly moves from Hip-Hop to Jazz to Funk to Rap to R & B. Under the leadership of founding members Mike Clark and Bill Summers, the seminal band has defied the odds with a bravura collection of original music that moves seamlessly from their trademark soulful instrumentals to bad-ass raps by guest artists Snoop Dogg, Killah Priest, Jaecyn Bayne and Private Pile, to philosophical interjections from George Clinton and more. Set for June 14th release on the respected Owl Studios label, ‘Platinum’ is sure to turn heads in the months to come.

The structure of the album is as engaging as its content, as a series of interstitials punctuate its powerful songs. Snippets of phone conversations, behind-the-scenes chats, melodic teasers, witty asides (and more) help to segue from song to song. The collection begins forcefully, with its ‘Mission Statement’, as a pulsating Headhunters groove is punctuated by rapper Bayne’s affirmations. From there we move to the late-night, hip-shaking instrumental ‘Salamander’, a track that lets each band member shine, and adds a crisp layer of horns to the mix. On the wild track ‘D-Funk (Funk With Us,) Snoop Dogg and George Clinton are featured in a multi-layered song that also showcases rapper Killah Priest, vocalist Cynthia Layne and more. One of the album’s many strengths lies in the fact that the instrumental tracks are as dramatic as the hip-hop/rap tracks…there is no lack of intensity and confidence on the album, and the propulsive energy is palpable. On some songs, such as the brilliant ‘Apple Tree’ (easily a centerpiece of the album,) Clark and Summers’ writing is filled with such bravado that it’s hard not to be impressed by their boldness.

Linda Reynolds provides some context, in her engaging liner notes: “The Headhunters, founded in 1973, were a legendary jazz-funk fusion band immortalized from their recordings and tours with jazz giant Herbie Hancock. The inaugural Head Hunters album with Hancock went on to become the first platinum jazz/fusion project in history….the intro to their song “God Make Me Funky” is one of the most sampled pieces in hip hop music, an homage to the Headhunters revered elder status and their direct lineage to the continuation and continuum of the music--that one song has been identified in the samples of dozens of rappers from pioneers like Eric B. and Rakim to De La Soul to Mobb Deep to the Fugees to Prince, and on and on and on.” Full liners follow, below.

The range of artists on ‘Platinum’ is top-shelf: Mike Clark – Drums; Bill Summers – Percussion, Vocals; Richie Goods – Bass; Kyle Roussel – Keyboards; Donald Harrison – Alto Saxophone, MOOG Bass, Keyboards; Rob Dixon – Soprano Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Keyboard; Derrick Gardner – Trumpet. Guest Artists: Snoop Dogg – Rap; Killah Priest – Rap; Jaecyn Bayne – Rap; Private Pile – Rap; George Clinton – Philosophical Interjection; Cynthia Layne – Vocals; Alexei Marti – Timbales, Vocals; Patrice Rushen – Keyboards; Bennie Maupin – Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone; Azar Lawrence – Soprano Saxophone; Gary Mielke – Bass, MOOG Bass, Keyboards; PJ Yinger – Trumpet; Jerry Stucker – Guitar.

Owl Studios’ Head J. Allan Hall is the album’s Executive Producer, with Mike Clark and Bill Summers as Producers and Rob Dixon and Gary Mielke as Co-Producers. All song credits follow below.

Owl Studios is an award-winning, independent record label, with an artist roster that includes a Grammy-nominated artist, two Independent Music Award winners, an American Pianists Association Jazz Fellowship recipient, and a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Performer Award recipient. In the short time since its inception, Owl Studios has become a well-respected, artist-friendly record label in the genres of Jazz, R&B, Neo Soul, Jazz Fusion and Jam Band. Learn more about Owl Studios, here: http://www.owlstudios.com/

PLATINUM Track Listing
1. Platinum Intro
2. Mission Statement
Drums - Mike Clark
Percussion - Bill Summers
Keyboards and Alto Saxophone - Rob Dixon
Bass and Keyboards - Gary Mielke
Rap - Jaecyn Bayne
Music: Rob Dixon, Gary Mielke, Mike Clark, Bill Summers
Publishing: Rob Dixon Music ASCAP, Bilsum Music BMI, Luconchu Music BMI
3. Reality Of It
4. Salamander
Percussion - Bill Summers
Drums - Mike Clark
Bass - Richie Goods
MOOG Bass - Donald Harrison
Keyboards - Patrice Rushen
Tenor Saxophone - Rob Dixon
Trumpet - Derrick Gardner
Music: Mike Clark, Bill Summers, Donald Harrison
Publishing: Bilsum Music BMI, Donhar Music BMI, Luconchu Music BMI
5. I Predict A Good Year
6. D-Funk (Funk With Us) featuring Snoop Dogg & George Clinton
Drums - Mike Clark
Bass - Richie Goods
Bass, MOOG Bass and Keyboards - Gary Mielke
Alto Saxophone and Keyboards - Rob Dixon
Trumpet - PJ Yinger
Rap Verse 1 & 2 - Jaecyn Bayne
Rap Verse 3 - Killah Priest
Rap Intro, Outro and Chorus - Snoop Dogg
Vocals - Cynthia Layne
Philosophical Interjection - George Clinton
Music: Rob Dixon, Gary Mielke, Bill Summers, Mike Clark
Publishing: Bilsum Music BMI, Luconchu Music BMI, Rob Dixon Music ASCAP
Produced by Bill Summers, Mike Clark
Co-produced by Rob Dixon, Gary Mielke, Kentyah Fraser
7. I Feel Really Good About
8. Tracie
Percussion - Bill Summers
Drums - Mike Clark
Timbales - Alexei Marti
Bass - Richie Goods
Keyboards - Kyle Roussel
Alto Saxophone - Donald Harrison
Tenor Saxophone - Bennie Maupin
Tenor Saxophone - Rob Dixon
Trumpet - Derrick Gardner
Music: Bill Summers, Kyle Roussel, Alexei Marti
Publishing: Bilsum Music BMI
9. Rehearse Everybody
10. Paging Mr. Wesley
Drums and Vocals - Mike Clark
Percussion and Vocals - Bill Summers
Bass - Richie Goods
Keyboards - Patrice Rushen
Keyboards - Kyle Roussel
Alto Saxophone - Donald Harrison
Tenor Saxophone - Rob Dixon
Trumpet - Derrick Gardner
Guitar - Jerry Stucker
Music: Mike Clark, Jeff Pittson
Publishing: Luconchu Music BMI, Jeff Pittson Publishing BMI
11. M Trane
Percussion - Bill Summers
Drums - Mike Clark
Bass - Richie Goods
Piano - Patrice Rushen
Alto Saxophone - Donald Harrison
Tenor Saxophone - Rob Dixon
Trumpet - Derrick Gardner
Music: Mike Clark, Jeff Pittson
Publishing: Luconchu Music BMI, Jeff Pittson Publishing BMI
12. Apple Tree
Drums - Mike Clark
Percussion, Vocals and Keyboards - Bill Summers
Keyboards and Alto Saxophone - Rob Dixon
Keyboards - Gary Mielke
Rap - Jaecyn Bayne
Music: Bill Summers, Mike Clark
Publishing: Bilsum Music BMI, Luconchu Music BMI
13. Palm Nut
Percussion - Bill Summers
Drums - Mike Clark
Bass - Richie Goods
Clavinet - Patrice Rushen
Keyboards - Kyle Roussel
Soprano Saxophone - Bennie Maupin
Alto Saxophone - Donald Harrison
Tenor Saxophone - Rob Dixon
Trumpet - Derrick Gardner
Music: Mike Clark, Bill Summers, Donald Harrison
Publishing: Bilsum Music BMI, Donhar Music BMI, Luconchu Music BMI
14. Years Of Touring
15. Congo Place
Drums - Mike Clark
Percussion - Bill Summers
Bass - Richie Goods
Clavinet -Patrice Rushen
Keyboards - Kyle Roussel
Alto Saxophone and Vocals - Donald Harrison
Music: Mike Clark, Bill Summers, Donald Harrison
Publishing: Bilsum Music BMI, Donhar Music BMI, Luconchu Music BMI
16. On The Road
17. Head Hunting
Percussion and Vocals - Bill Summers
Drums - Mike Clark
Timbales and Vocals - Alexei Marti
Bass - Richie Goods
Piano - Patrice Rushen
Keyboards - Kyle Roussel
Soprano Saxophone - Azar Lawrence
Alto Saxophone - Donald Harrison
Tenor Saxophone - Rob Dixon
Trumpet - Derrick Gardner
Music: Bill Summers, Kyle Roussel
Publishing: Bilsum Music BMI
18. Skizness
Drums - Mike Clark
Percussion - Bill Summers
Bass - Richie Goods
Keyboards - Kyle Roussel
MOOG Bass and Keyboards - Donald Harrison
Keyboards - Gary Mielke
Tenor Saxophone and Keyboards - Rob Dixon
Trumpet - Derrick Gardner
Rap - Private Pile
Music: Donald Harrison, Bill Summers, Mike Clark, Chuck Williams
Publishing: Bilsum Music BMI, Donhar Music BMI, Luconchu Music BMI
19. Soul Glow
Percussion - Bill Summers
Drums - Mike Clark
Bass - Richie Goods
Keyboards - Kyle Roussel
Keyboards - Gary Mielke
Soprano Saxophone and Keyboards - Rob Dixon
Guitar - Jerry Stucker
Music: Richie Goods
Publishing: Music Goods Company BMI
20. Platinum Outro


‘PLATINUM’ Liner Notes – By Linda Reynolds:
I found it significant when Summers and Clark decided to call the new Headhunters endeavor Platinum. This was, after all, the band that made history in the early 70s when they became the first jazz/fusion group to “go” Platinum.
Considered a noble metal for its remarkable resistance to corrosion, even at high temperatures, Platinum is one of the rarest elements in the Earth's crust. But since Platinum exists in high abundance on the moon and in meteorites, it can also be found at sites on the Earth that have been impacted and associated with resulting post-impact volcanism. In other words, the stuff is from “out there” and also the hotter spots on earth, like molten lava. I mean, it doesn’t get any hotter than that. Nor do the sounds bouncing around the eternity of time and space get any hotter than some of the tunes presented on this latest Headhunter cosmic, yet earthy, romp. Jammed as usual with an unabashed embarrassment of riches and stellar guests presented in their usual eclectic and subtly indefinable genres, suffice to say this is music in 2011: are labels really necessary?
The alchemical symbol for platinum was made by joining the symbols of silver and gold. Ever hear that song? Make new friends/ but keep the old/one is silver/and the other gold.
That makes sense to me, too, considering this:
The Headhunters, founded in 1973, were a legendary jazz-funk fusion band immortalized from their recordings and tours with jazz giant Herbie Hancock. The inaugural Head Hunters album with Hancock went on to become the first platinum jazz/fusion project in history. Other historic recordings followed, including Thrust, Flood, and Manchild, before the band went on to produce seminal records sans Hancock (including the renowned Survival of the Fittest, which featured the funk anthem "God Make Me Funky," one of the most sampled jazz/fusion songs in modern music history.)
But back to that genre question, that ever pesky need to peg. The Headhunters have always been acclaimed for innovative concepts, and pioneer-weaving of electronic music and effects borrowing from many styles and genres, including jazz, funk, African, and Afro-Caribbean sounds. A strong connection to African music is evident; with the role of percussion hugely enhanced compared to mainstream jazz, and the band has always extensively explored more complex polyrhythms than most all earlier funk.
For example, traditional straightforward funk depends on a snappy, danceable backbeat from the drummer; Mike Clark’s and Paul Jackson's innovative interplay danced in and around the groove motif, inventing new and confounding rhythmic patterns that put them on the map and in the history books. A case in point is the tune “Actual Proof” on Thrust, one of the finest recordings of the century, which incidentally established Clark as a true innovator of linear style drumming, incorporating jazz and funk.
The Headhunters are also notable for the unusually wide range of instruments they use, as exemplified most profusely by original member and master percussionist, Mr. Bill Summers. Fluent in hundreds of African, Cuban & Latin percussion rhythms, Summers, a respected musicologist and director of the Summers Multi-Ethnic Institute of the Arts, completely redefined the role of percussion instrumentalists, playing anything from traditional African instruments to pop bottles. His influence is groundbreaking.
The last few years of live engagements, tours and their recording Evolution/ Revolution has benefited from the always amazing and astoundingly brilliant alto player Donald Harrison picking up the horn where Bennie Maupin put it down. A modern day Renaissance man, Harrison is an Indian Big Chief of the Congo Nation tribe in New Orleans, and a respected elder and authority of the tradition. (He is one of the head advisors on the critically-acclaimed HBO series about New Orleans post-Katrina, “Tremé,” with a pivotal role based on his own life and is a recurring player on the show). Continuing his venture into acting, he also did some memorable work on the haunting film “Rachel Getting Married.” Luckily, his first and true love is music, and the Headhunters feel blessed to have his unique writing and playing talents join the party again.
A new and valuable addition to the always-evolving Headhunter family is tenor player, composer, arranger and producer Rob Dixon. Anchored in that fair city Indianapolis, he was discovered by Mike Clark when he booked Rob for a one-off at that city’s famed Jazz Kitchen, based on strong praise from the club owner. Dixon will tell you some other story--how it was the other way around but then--does it really matter? The baddest players always find their way to a Headhunters gig, somehow.
For example, the current bassist Richie Goods, who can toss the rhythms back and forth with Clark reminiscent of the historical bass player and founding Headhunter, the brilliant Paul Jackson, but brings his own thing too, a uniquely solid style--let me put it this way---Goods got the goods!
Another perennial Headhunter favorite, Patrice Rushen, who performs alchemy whenever her fingers touch the keys shares that crucial role with New Orleans native and impending threat on the piano, Kyle Roussel.
Truth told, every guest artist on this effort brings stunning and wholly unique gifts to the date: Owl recording artist, the phenomenal Derrick Gardner bears an uncanny auditory resemblance to Lee Morgan on trumpet, while keeping it all his own; East Bay funketeer Jerry Stucker brings some more of that Oakland sensibility with his mean guitar playing; and some cuts dazzle with the horn playing of Philly’s own Azar Lawrence.
A special shout out to old fans of the Headhunters is a return of Bennie Maupin, an original founding father of the unit, who brings it, as always.
The legendary George Clinton even stops by for a chat.
Adding to the ensemble, Gary Mielke adds some strong synthesizers; artist PJ Yinger does an interesting trumpet turn and guest vocalist Cynthia Layne lends her lovely voice to “Funk with Us.” Alexei Marti adds some fiery Timbales to “Head Hunting.”
Most exciting, is the injection of fresh new blood which is found in the performances of the various guest emcees and rappers who were brought on board to add to four special tracks.
For a reason.
Back in the day, before the genesis of the Hip Hop Nation, the Headhunters got it. And those that had ears, they heard it. Since the inception of hip hop and rap, in the streets of the Bronx, from the turntables of Grandmaster Flash and Biz Markie, DJs were pulling out their trusty, dusty copies of Straight from the Gate and Survival of the Fittest, particularly to sample that funkiest of anthems, “God Make Me Funky.”
As previously touched upon, the intro to their song “God Make Me Funky” is one of the most sampled pieces in hip hop music, an homage to the Headhunters revered elder status and their direct lineage to the continuation and continuum of the music--that one song has been identified in the samples of dozens of rappers from pioneers like Eric B. and Rakim to De La Soul to Mobb Deep to the Fugees to Prince, and on and on and on.
The Headhunters appreciate the love---although it would have been nice to been always paid. Sometimes they were. Often they were not. (It should be noted, the artists mentioned did secure copyright permission-thank you!)
But, of course, their music inspires this, as heavy on the rhythm and beats as it is--as funky now as it was then--and they wish to take this opportunity to acknowledge the best and funkiest in hip hop as a natural progression of this thing called funk and all that embraces in its name. Hence a considered collaboration with an invited roster of esteemed rappers whose work they’ve heard and dug: Snoop Dogg, Jaecyn Bayne, Killah Priest, and Private Pile. Kentyah Fraser displayed his artful editing skills here. (Unfortunately, a remarkable contribution by Del the Funky Homosapien could not be used at this time due to technical obstacles, but a very heartfelt appreciation is held for his love and efforts!)
Well done, Gentlemen.
Hitting hard with the opening track, “Mission Statement,” guest rapper Jaecyn Bayne nails this one (as does, of course, a killin’ band,) as this anthem lays it out on certain terms with a contagious hook that will surely emerge as one of the highlights of the album. One of four tunes that feature an assortment of star emcees, a strong intro to the merging/emerging directions of the new Headhunters.
“Salamander” is a funky instrumental groove, an organically written joint, where every player gets his due--to do what they do. Best.“Funk with Us” The one and only Snoop Dogg is joined by fellow rappers Killah Priest and Jaecyn Bayne, and pioneer George Clinton on this groove highway written by Clark, Summers, Dixon and Mielke with Dogg in mind.
“Tracie” a latin-infused and driven ride written by Bill Summers, playing some truly fresh percussive elements, has some nice trumpet work by Gardner. Maupin joins Dixon and Harrison here---on tenor, to showcase this solid horn section. This song was written with love in memory of Bill's late wife, Tracie Dixon Summers.
“Paging Mr. Wesley” is a very funky nod to the iconic Fred Wesley, the jazz trombonist who wrote and arranged some of the hottest hits in history during his long tenure with the Godfather of Soul, James Brown. Mike wrote this with Jeff Pittson, renowned pianist from the brilliant (and impossible to locate) “The Funk Stops Here,” as tribute to the thousands of road miles and countless stages he had the deep privilege to share with Mr. Wesley, the man who truly taught him how to have a “funky good time.“ A lesson he’ll never forget! Ridiculous interplay between Clark and Summers on this sandwich, with some genuine chicken scratch by East Bay native Jerry Stucker on guitar
“M Trane” is another Mike Clark/ Jeff Pittson collaboration that celebrates the life and music of the mighty John Coltrane. Listen to Patrice Rushen’s valentine on this. Played with much love.
“Apple Tree” again features Mike and Bill’s inimitable signature rhythms knitting a tight net underneath this wise tome written by the two of them and spoken by elder Summers and guest rapper Jaecyn Bayne. That beautiful voice on tenor belongs to Mr. Dixon.
“Palm Nut,” plays on the Headhunters’ infamous Palm Grease and if you listen hard perhaps you’ll recall the funky opener from that old-time jewel. Some nice soprano playing by Headhunter alumni Bennie Maupin adds to the mix with Harrison and Dixon on alto and tenor respectively. Summers has a field day playing with the ever and always funky Mr. Clark.
“Congo Place” is a New Orleans roots-infused stew written by Harrison, Summers and Clark, with Bill’s African percussive ah, cumin, while Donald plays and sings a distinct song that celebrates the old tradition that was Congo Square, when slaves were allowed Sundays off and would gather in the place to sing and dance and play music. Mike adds Oakland’s heartbeat to this plaintive and soulful dedication.
“Head Hunting” has some furious drumming between Clark and Summers and guest Timbales player Alexei Marti interspersed with some of Richie’s super funk bass signatures and impressive blowing by Azar Lawrence, Donald Harrison, Rob Dixon, and Derrick Gardner.
“Skizness” is basically Salamander with some spoken word deftly added by Private Pile. And as the word says: “Headhunters understand.” Which is pretty obvious listening to this track. A very funky tribute to some of the pre-eminent fathers of funk.
“Soul Glow” is a bouncy but funky rock trip penned by Mr. Goods, with Mr. Clark kicking it back with bassist Richie Goods. Dixon can be heard in a particularly haunting solo that reminds me of early Wayne Shorter. Jerry Stucker on guitar cannot be ignored, and returns the ball effortlessly. So there you have it. What was that all about?
Funky enough?
Something about that Platinum thing. Silver and Gold.
A fusion.
A mix.
A rare and precious metal.
You tell me.


Platinum was Recorded at the Static Shack, Indianapolis, Indiana
All songs engineered, mixed and mastered by Gary Mielke except:
All percussion tracks recorded By Bill Summers and Neil Kaplan at Baba Bill's Studio, New Orleans, Louisiana
Apple Tree recorded and engineered by Bill Summers and Scott Roberts at Baba Bill's in New Orleans,
Louisiana
George Clinton recorded by Bill Summers and Scott Roberts at Baba Bill's in New Orleans, Louisiana
Bennie Maupin recorded at Nolan Smith Studios in Los Angeles, California
Steve Carter rap tracks logic and track edits at Drop City in Berkeley, California
Patrice Rushen recorded by Keith Jones/CGS Productions
Snoop Dogg rap appears courtesy of Mandatory Business and Holy Toledo Productions, LLC
Bill Summers produced the vignettes and the sessions with Patrice Rushen, Bennie Maupin and Private Pile in Los Angeles, California and New Orleans, Louisiana


Executive Producer – J. Allan Hall
Producer – Mike Clark and Bill Summers
Co-Producer – Rob Dixon and Gary Mielke
Headhunters Management: Jeff Neben of Axis Artist Management, Inc.
Liner Notes – Linda Reynolds
Photography – Mark Sheldon
Art Design – PJ Yinger of Yinger Design
Director of Operations for Owl Studios – Matthew Altizer


In the March issue of DOWNBEAT MAGAZINE, writer Eric Fine previewed ‘Platinum’ as the band’s “most ambitious album since the 1970s.” The concept behind the new album is fitting – as noted in a recent article: “Jazz/fusion groundbreakers the Headhunters have been sampled by countless hip-hop and pop artists. These days, the band is incorporating rap and hip-hop into its own sound.”


Renowned drummer Mike Clark previewed the project as “some of the finest musicians playing some killer funk, which is always a lot of fun. This time we stir it up with spoken word from a multi generational mix of artists, telling it like it is and always has been.” Venerable percussionist Bill Summers added the amalgam of rhythm, melody and spoken word represents “true fusion of Hip Hop, Jazz, Rap, Salsa, Rock, New Orleans, African rhythm and its classical forms.”



DOWNBEAT MAGAZINE
March, 2011 issue By Eric Fine
New Headhunting Funk Experience
Classic ’70s Jazz Fusion Band Returns To Studio With Surprising Guests

Drummer Mike Clark earned acclaim as a master of funk rhythms after joining Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters in 1973. But Clark is hardly nostalgic about his four-year tenure with the band. Ask Clark whether he thought the Headhunters would still exist more than 30 years after the band regularly backed Hancock, and Clark responds quickly: Absolutely not, he says. He would have been especially shocked with the group’s new incarnation and its planned spring release. A reunion album (Return Of The Headhunters!) in 1998 notwithstanding, the Headhunters’ new era began after a promoter asked Clark to assemble a jazz-funk band in the late 1990s for a national tour.
Appearing under the name Prescription Renewal, the lineup paired young players like guitarist Charlie Hunter and DJ Logic with original Headhunters bassist Paul Jackson, organ player Dr. Lonnie Smith and trombonist Fred Wesley. After percussionist Bill Summers, another original Headhunter, sat in with Clark, the two revived the Headhunters’ moniker in 2001 while adding saxophonist Donald Harrison to the lineup. Recent editions of the Headhunters continue to mix youth and experience, and have toured internationally. The band embarked on a series of dates in November at pop-oriented venues, where it performed on bills that also featured the Mumbles, a keyboard duo from London. The current group includes rapper Private Pile, and increasingly spotlights new material. It resurrects 1970s tunes like “Watermelon Man” and “Sly,” but only by request. “I don’t mind playing these tunes,” Clark said, “but we put the focus on what we’re doing now. Nobody’s even thinking about the old days, [and] nobody’s reflecting back on what we did with Herbie. This is a different group of musicians, except for Bill and me.” The Headhunters will release their most ambitious album since the 1970s in May. Platinum (Owl Studios) will include rapper Snoop Dogg, funk legend George Clinton and original Headhunter saxophonist Bennie Maupin. Al Hall, the album’s executive producer, was reluctant to incorporate rap, but relented after establishing guidelines. “I said let’s go ahead and do it, but with three rules: no racial stuff; no heavy cursing; and no demonizing women. And so [Clark and Summers] looked at each other and said, ‘We don’t have anything to do,’” Hall said, laughing. You should have heard the first track we had—immediately, it was all three [taboos] pulled into one or two sentences,” said Hall, who founded Owl Studios in 2005 in Indianapolis. “We’re working around that. It’s kind of a business part of it that you can’t have radio play if you’re going to be using the f-word, the n-word or all those other things.” Profane or not, bassist Richie Goods said the band attracts a growing number of the young people largely absent from straight-ahead gigs. “Even if we didn’t have the rapper there’s a whole younger audience that’s into what we do,” said Goods, the Headhunters’ bassist since 2007. “But that’s the direction they want to move. Everyone’s writing a lot of music, and they recorded some new music, and they want almost like a new face for the Headhunters. I don’t think they ever want to take those vintage songs out of their repertoire, but they want to start building a new repertoire that’s just as strong as the old repertoire.” —Eric Fine – DOWNBEAT, 3/11


The ambitious project was also previewed via JAZZIZ.com (see below.) as The Headhunters offered fans a sneak peek of the album during a U.S. tour late last year – in advance of a local concert, The Philadelphia Inquirer hailed them as “one of the most innovative groups in history.”


JAZZIZ.com - News column and photo for the Headhunters CD and tour
THE HEADHUNTERS HIT THE ROAD
http://www.jazziz.com/news/2010/10/22/the-headhunters-hit-the-road/


The storied jazz/funk/fusion band, the Headhunters, are currently finalizing tracks for Platinum, a CD set for release early next year on the Owl Studios label. The disc will feature guest appearances by several intriguing names, including Snoop Dogg, George Clinton, Killah Priest, and Del the Funky Homosapien. In the meantime, the legendary band will embark on a U.S. tour in November. (See dates, venues and cities below.)
Of the new album and the new year, not-overly modest Headhunters percussionist Bill Summers says: “2011 will mark the beginning of a new movement in music and jazz — the true fusion of hip hop, jazz, rap, salsa, rock, New Orleans, African rhythm and its classical forms. The Headhunters are steeped in the funk and jazz traditions. The groove is undeniable and the layers of rhythm, melody and spoken word in this release will raise the bar and set a benchmark for the world to follow. The truth of the matter is, we respect all forms of music and see a place in this unusual musical tapestry for every form of modern and ancient music forms. The project is entitled Platinum. For some this is an award presented to those who achieve a feat of reaching one million units sold and certified. For us, Platinum is a self-proclamation of achievement for creating a project deserving of recognition, and will be heard and appreciated by the millions of listeners worldwide.” The Headhunters were founded in 1973 and served as the supporting band for Herbie Hancock’s 12th studio album, Head Hunters, which became one of the best-selling jazz records ever. The Headhunters went on to record a handful of additional albums with Hancock, and they’ve also released a couple of winning platters on their own. Jazziz.com, 10/22/10


Click the links below to read a sampling of tour preview articles:


The Roanoke Times
TOUR PREVIEW INTERVIEW FEATURE By Tad Dickens 11/10
Rap, hip-hop in the mix for Headhunters
http://www.roanoke.com/entertainment/insideout/music/wb/267689


PHILLYBURBS/COURIER TIMES NEWS
Tour preview
Jazz-funk masters The Headhunters to perform at North Star Bar
http://www.phillyburbs.com/news/local/courier_times/courier_times_news_details/article/2463/2010/november/01/jazz-funk-masters-the-headhunters-to-perform-at-north-star-bar.html


Other tour coverage includes PHILLY DAILY NEWS; 7Days, the key Alternative weekly in Burlington; VALLEY VOICE in Portland ME, which praised “the Headhunters have redefined modern funk, world music, and jazz”; The ITHACA TIMES
http://www.ithacatimes.com/main.asp?SubSectionID=63&ArticleID=13076&SectionID=3 and much more.


More About THE HEADHUNTERS:
Founded in 1973, they recorded their eponymous debut Head Hunters with Herbie Hancock. The Headhunters, legendary jazz-funk fusion band, immortalized as a result of their long recording and touring stint with jazz giant Herbie Hancock. Hancock's “Headhunters” album was the first to be recorded with the group and has been heralded as the first platinum Jazz/Fusion project in history. Thrust, Flood, Manchild and other historic recordings followed. The band went on to produce more seminal records on their own, including Survival of the Fittest, which featured the funk anthem "God Make Me Funky," one of the most sampled jazz/fusion songs in modern music history. The Headhunters' music is a complex but harmonious blend of many styles and genres, spanning the globe, from Africa to Broadway. The group is acclaimed for its musical pioneering and innovative concepts.


More about MIKE CLARK: Originally from Oakland, California, Mike is credited with pioneering a particular style of East Bay funk drumming along with Dave Garibaldi of Tower of Power fame. Called "one of the most sampled drummer in hip hop" Mike's beats have been used on tracks by musicians as diverse as NWA, Grandmaster Flash, Britney Spears, Prince and many others. His diverse genre-defying talent continues to astound audiences and influence successive generations of drummers since his explosive arrival on the music scene with Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters. It is widely accepted that Clark is one of the few, in the category of Elvin Jones and Tony Williams, to have changed the fundamental language of the drums. Clark’s Owl Studios debut, ‘Carnival of Soul’, has earned universally rave reviews.


More about BILL SUMMERS: To say that Bill is a percussionist is like saying a Steinway is a piano: the noun conveys none of the history and quality of the owner of the title. Born in Detroit Michigan, a veteran of Herbie Hancock's Headhunters, knows literally hundreds of African, Cuban & Latin percussion rhythms from decades of study. Bill steers the helm of the Summers Multi-Ethnic Institute of the Arts, and is a musician of the highest order, playing anything from traditional African instruments to pop bottles.


VISIT http://www.owlstudios.com/





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