In honor of Jazz Appreciation Month, today we’re featuring Chameleon, a wonderfully funky jazz standard from Herbie Hancock’s classic Head Hunters album. This 1973 release, which also included the hit Watermelon Man, brought Hancock’s music to the people with infectious r&b grooves that helped jazz cats appreciate r&b and helped r&b fans appreciate jazz – and Herbie Hancock in particular.
Similarly, Victor Lopez’s grade 2 arrangement makes this great tune accessible to young musicians and helps develop their appreciation of both jazz and r&b. Isn’t that what Jazz Appreciation Month is all about?
Chameleon was written by Herbie Hancock along with bandmates Paul Jackson, Harvey Mason, Jr. and Bennie Maupin.
Performance Notes from Arranger Victor Lopez
This funk tune embraces elements of rock and soul while adopting freer stylistic elements from jazz.
This entire arrangement is to be played with a moderate laid back “funk feel.” It is suggested that students listen to the classic Herbie Hancock recording, Head Hunters, and the Maynard Ferguson recording, Chameleon, not only to compare and contrast, but to get a feel for the intended groove. Remember that jazz is still basically an aural art form.
With SmartMusic, your students can practice tunes like Chameleon with inspiring accompaniment, immediate feedback, and your guidance. Try it for free!