Chameleon (composition)

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"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 funk beat. For the most part, the song is built entirely on a two-chord vamp: a I-IV in B Dorian (Bm7 and E7).

The piece is one of the most widely recognized jazz standards, and has become standard repertoire in most small jazz ensembles. It has been covered by many notable artists, including Maceo Parker, Buddy Rich, Big Sam's Funky Nation, Maynard Ferguson, Eddie Jefferson, Gov't Mule, Monty Alexander with Sly Dunbar & Robbie Shakespeare, Michał Urbaniak, The String Cheese Incident, Umphrey's McGee, James Morrison, Vivid Vacuum, Four o'clock Tuesday, ErenGencOkan Trio, Kâmil Sextette, The Bitter End All Star Jam Band, The Boat Exclusion, The Music Circle (a 1970's Barbados spouge version) and many others.

The bass riff of Becks "cellphones Dead" is reminiscent in tone and rhythmic character of "Chameleon" by jazz artist Herbie Hancock from his 1973 record Head Hunters.

The piece's signature funky bass line was played by Hancock on an ARP Odyssey, as was one of the keyboard solos. The other keyboard solo was played on a Fender/Rhodes piano.