Winner of the U.S. chapter of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music's Woody Guthrie Award for most distinguished work on popular music.
Steven Pond's Head Hunters captures a transitional moment in modern music history, a time when jazz and rock intermingled to create a new, often controversial, genre. At the forefront of that style was Head Hunters, Herbie Hancock's foray into the fusion jazz market.
The album became a turning point for a radical shift in both the production and reception of jazz. It was the best-selling jazz record of all time to that point, and the music industry quickly responded to the expanded market, with production and promotion budgets rising tenfold. Such a shift helped musicians pry open the control-booth door, permanently enlarging their role in production. But critics, believing that rock and funk might be appropriating jazz to new musical ends---or more ominously, for commercial reasons---grew increasingly alarmed at what they saw as the beginning of the end of jazz.
Steven F. Pond is Associate Professor of music at Cornell University. He will become Editor-in-Chief for the journal Jazz Perspectives in 2011.
". . . [a] very readable dissection of all the different ways in which Herbie Hancock's 1973 album Head Hunters broke the mould. . . . An entertaining and thought-provoking read."
"An important and timely book. Pond's work reflects the insight an informed researcher and skilled performer can bring to the study of music."
---Travis Jackson, Associate Professor of American Music, University of Chicago
"Pond dissects and analyzes what went into the making of this album, both musical and extra-musical with enthusiasm and thoroughness."
Copyright © 2005, University of Michigan. All rights reserved. Posted November 2005.
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