Playing with The Headhunters back in Herbie Hancock’s Thrust days, gives any musician instant credibility. Therefore drummer Mike Clark, who manned that funky kit back in the 70’s, is surely the real deal. When he brought his newly revamped Headhunters to Club Metronome for the second night of their brief week and a half tour, the audience was eagerly waiting the legendary ensemble. After some early technical difficulties, the band dove in head first to their familiar bucket of funk.
The show started off with percussionist Bill Summers blowing the intro to “Watermelon Man” into a half full beer bottle. Clark then joined in punching out his distinctive funky drum style, as the rest of the band crept in playing off of each other and the audience’s energy. Donald Harrison’s sax runs kept building and peaking and then building again throughout the song until they finally landed back on the theme with Summers busting out the bottle again to close "Watermelon Man."
New to the Headhunters was bassist George Porter Jr who deserves the MVP award for the night. Throughout the set Porter would step up to the mike and belt out many hits of his home town of New Orleans. During a super funky version of Allen Toussaint’s “Get Out Of My Life Woman” he even broke into a “Welcome to New Orleans” jam. But it was during his go at the classic “Mustang Sally” that Porter gave his best performance of the night going between the Stones “Satisfaction” and a big ol’ N’Orleans bunch of James Brown tunes.
While it was not a perfect show, The Headhunters performance on this night was raw and to the point. With the addition of George Porter to this group and the super sized keyboard skills of Jerry Z, the Headhunter’s legend is surely kept alive.