Headhunters - Survival Of The Fittest (LP)
The Headhunters were formed in 1973 as the backing band for jazz keyboard legend Herbie Hancock, and performed with him on his million-selling album Head Hunters, the same year. After a handful of releases, the band split with Hancock and began to release material on their own. (Many of their albums would be produced by Hancock himself, whom they reunited to perform with on multiple occasions.)
Throughout The Headhunters tenure, a revolving lineup of session jazz legends would perform with the group, including Bennie Maupin, Paul Jackson, Mike Clark, Bill Summers, DeWayne "Blackbyrd" McKnight, and Wah Wah Watson. Survival Of The Fittest was their first solo record, and was released in 1975 to great critical acclaim and amazement from the jazz scene, initially skeptical of the prospect of The Headhunters without Herbie Hancock. \
But Survival Of The Fittest stands on its own as a pinnacle of 70s jazz fusion, featuring impeccably tight performances from the group on tracks like the tribal funk-heavy "Mugic", and spaced out "Rima", as well as choice guest appearances by alto-flautist Joyce Jackson and the Pointer Sisters. Most notably the album features the track "God Made Me Funky", which would become a signature tune for the group, as well as a mainstay of hip-hop sampling, appearing on tracks by Nas, N.W.A., Eric B. & Rakim, De La Soul, and many more.