In 1974, on tour with the band that made Head Hunters a massive hit on both eye Jazz and Soul charts, Herbie Hancock was getting the kind of reaction for audiences he'd never before seen.
First of all, there were more people than ever. And they came to dance. They weren't necessarily jazz fans. They wanted to hear the songs the way they sounded on the album.
In his autobiography Herbie Hancock: Possibilities, Hancock says not everybody loved the new sound :
As Head Hunters climbed higher on the charts, some critics really started acting negatively to it. The tone of this review , by Lee Underwood, was typical of the worse ones:
Mr Communicate-With-A-Wider-Audience, Herbie Hancock, opened to a full house recently, again, pleasing the funkers while disappointing the more cerebrally oriented jazz connoisseurs . At its worst, Hancock's music is commercial trash; at its best, it is almost as schizoid as Frank Zappa's offerings.
Hancock has always said Head Hunters was a jazz-funk experiment and its popularity surprised everyone.