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Published on Mar 20, 2010
"Chameleon" is a jazz standard composed by Herbie Hancock in collaboration with Bennie Maupin, Paul Jackson and Harvey Mason, all of whom also performed the original 15′44″ version on the 1973 landmark album Head Hunters featuring solos by Hancock and Maupin. The song has a characteristic bass line and is set to a funky beat. Another notable aspect of the song is that it is built entirely on a two-chord vamp (B♭m7 and E♭7 - a common progression in modern music). The piece has been covered by many notable artists, including Maceo Parker, Buddy Rich, Maynard Ferguson, Eddie Jefferson, Gov't Mule, Michał Urbaniak, String Cheese Incident, Umphrey's McGee, and James Morrison.
The notable funky bass line is often mistaken for a bass but was actually played by Hancock on an ARP Odyssey.