Going back to what I said some time ago about the contribution of a rhythm section cutting across genre lines, a discussion of one of the all time great, and at the same time most reviled, albums in the history of jazz fits right into the topic. The album is Herbie Hancock's magnum opus, Headhuters (what one commentator referred to as a "damnably great" record). I'm not going to get into the whole jazz fusion argument here. I just want to listen to the rhythm section.
You say you're sick of "Chameleon?" Fine, skip it and listen to "Watermelon Man." Listen to it repeatedly. Listen to the drummer. Listen to how tight he is. Listen to how tight he is with the bassist. Listen to how tight he is with Herbie's unreal multi-instrumental multi-track rhythm playing (the thing that sounds like a guitar is a clavinet). Listen to the drummer some more. Listen to what a great laid-back jazz feel he has even while he is laying down a groove that is funky, funky, funky. Harvey Mason's performance on this album might be the funkiest of all time (Bernard Purdie notwithstanding).
OK, I lied, you can't skip "Chameleon." Go back to it now and listen to the rhythm section some more. Herbie's clavinet is even more inspired on this track. And Harvey Mason is just, well, the grooviest metronome you're ever going to hear.
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A lawyer who likes to write music commentary.