Watermelon Man" is a jazz standard written by Herbie Hancock for his debut album, Takin' Off (1962). Hancock's first version was released as a grooving hard bop record, and featured improvisations by Freddie Hubbard and Dexter Gordon. A single reached the Top 100 of the pop chart. Cuban percussionist Mongo Santamaría released the tune as a Latin pop single and it became a surprise hit, reaching No. 10 on the pop chart. Santamaría's recording was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998.
Watermelon Man, a jazz funk classic written by Herbie Hancock who was just 22 at the time, was first released in 1962 on the album Takin’ Off. It was later re-arranged by Hancock for the album Head Hunters (1973). The song was written with commercial intent but wasn’t a real hit until it was covered in a Latin pop version by Mongo Santamaria (a Cuban percussionist who wrote the jazz standard Afro Blue). The jazz guitar chord dictionary (free ebook). Here are those 3 versions of Watermelon Man next to each other. The first video is Herbie Hancock’s original version, the second is Mongo Santamaria’s cover version and the third video is the Head Hunters version. Fun fact: the intro of the Head Hunters version is percussionist Bill Summers blowing into a beer bottle. Because this song is a jam session standard, it’s a must-know tune for any jazz guitarist.
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Lyrics begin: "Oh! Watermelon man," Top Sellers. Watermelon Man. Herbie Hancock, Instrumental Solo. Herbie Hancock, Leadsheet.
The watermelon stereotype is a stereotype of African Americans that states that African Americans have an unusually great appetite for watermelons. This stereotype has remained prevalent into the 21st century. The stereotype that African Americans are excessively fond of watermelon emerged for a specific historical reason and served a specific political purpose. This racist trope then exploded in American popular culture, becoming so pervasive that its historical origin became obscure.
Watermelon Man! (LP, Album). Mongo Santamaria Orchestra - Get The Money. Mongo Santamaria - Watermelon Man (1963) 3:16.
Watermelon Man was written by Herbie Hancock, originally for his 1962 hit record Takin’ Off. Hancock wrote this tune with the intention of marketing his record, and was the first tune he composed for commercial reasons. Watermelon Man became a hit, and he would later record it with his Head Hunters band as well in 1973. This 16 bar blues is played in a straight eight groove, originally a latin-rock style, and later funk. It is most commonly played in the key of F. Videos to learn the melody/changes. 06:32. Herbie Hancock Watermelon man. 07:11.
Watermelon Man. by. Herbie Hancock. Water Melon Man by The Artie Scott Orchestra (1968). Watermelon Man by Gil Ventura (1974).
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- Recorded At – Silence Studio
- Printed By – SIB-Tryck AB, Norsborg
- Published By – SAM-Musik
- Bass – Hans Sacklén
- Design [Sleeve Design] – Hank
- Drums – Erik Westin
- Engineer – Anders Lind, Henrik Cederberg
- Guitar – Imre Von Polgar*, Johan Lundberg
- Mixed By – Anders Lind
- Photography By – Martin Farran-Lee
- Producer – Clive Gregson
- Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Written-By – Erik Illes
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- Rights Society: BIEM/NCB