Of course everyone knows that Herbie Hancock was at the forefront of the 70s jazz fusion movement along with Miles Davis. In 1973 he formed The Headhunters and was roundly criticized by jazz purists for being too commercial. In retrospect, Hancock's music foreshadows the integration of jazz and funk using electronic keyboards. And Hancock would go even farther in the 80s. Spank-A-Lee is from the 1974 album Thrust. In the early 70s, Hancock recorded experimental jazz fusion albums like Mwandishi in 1971. The albums didn't sell very well and Hancock moved from Warner Bros. to Columbia. Hancock really enjoyed the funk of artists like Sly & The Family Stone. He just wanted to mix jazz with funk. So he formed The Headhunters with Bennie Maupin on sax, Paul Jackson on bass, Bill Summers on percussion and Harvey Mason on drums. Though critics tried to place Hancock in a jazz box and hated the 1973 album Headhunters, it sold great and was certified Platinum. For the second Headhunters album Thrust, Mason was replaced by Mike Clark. This album was also successful. Hancock made several funk albums in the 70s and when you listen to the music today, it actually holds up very well. Thrust is available as a budget CD. Herbie Hancock was always experimenting. It's just that those experiments like The Headhunters weren't always well received by jazz purists. The music deserves another listen. Here's Herbie Hancock performing Spank-A-Lee 1974.