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Herbie Hancock’s Spank a Lee Transcription by Andreas Farmakalidis

Meet Andreas Farmakalidis –

We are well into the 21st century and “Thrust”, by Headhunters, still impresses the new generations of musicians. This Jazz fusion album was released in 1974 by Columbia records. On this album, we can perceive influences of jazz, rock,funk, soul as well as African Rhythms. Hopefully, after a few years we can see the same innovation, modernism and creativity taking place in this century!

“Spank-A-Lee”: I can only describe this track with only one word. Groove. Mike Clark and Paul Jackson create a steady polymetric funk beat. This beat, is supported by Herbie Hancocks’ funky keyboard comping, as well as, simple, straightforward melodic lines.

Paul Jackson’s Jaco Pastorius-like bass playing and the cooperation with Mike Clark and Herbie Hancock create an inspiring solo base for Bennie Maupin’s tenor saxophone. The rhythm, improvisation and feeling inspire many young musicians nowadays and hopefully will do the same in the future.

The transcription is the main groove of the track. Enjoy!


Andreas Farmakalidis



  1. leonardo

    October 19, 2010 at 8:19 am

    Esitmado Andreas y Raul, la verdad impresionate la revista onlie, me sirve mucho para mejorar como bajista. MUCHAS GRACIAS y sigan asi. Aver cuando se vienen para la Argentina!!!! Abrazos y que Dios los bendiga.

  2. Mitch

    October 20, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    Hi Andreas ,
    I’d like to thank you. This is amazing. Everyone nowadays is too caught up with the ” guitaresque” if I may say bass playing & they forget the fundamentals.

    You are right. This is a bass line that everyone should go through.
    I guess I should get my p bass , put my funky hat on and start!

  3. Jane

    October 21, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    Hi Andreas
    Great bass line choice,
    I am just starting bass and my teacher introduced me to headhunters.
    Thanks for the transcription. I will try and learn it.

  4. Nephytos

    October 24, 2010 at 1:59 am

    Nice job!!
    I was looking for headhunters basslines for a long time!
    If you can do more headhunters will be greatly Appreciated!
    Hi from Greece
    Thanks Neo!

  5. Bob

    October 30, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    Hi Andreas
    Great Work!
    Thank you!

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