Watermelon Man” is a jazz standard written by Herbie Hancock, first released on his debut album, Takin’ Off (1962).
First version was released as a grooving hard bop and featured improvisations by Freddie Hubbard and Dexter Gordon. A single of the tune reached the Top 100 of the pop charts. Cuban percussionist Mongo Santamaría released the tune as a Latin pop single the next year on Battle Records, where it became a surprise hit, reaching #10 on the pop charts.Santamaría’s recording was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998. Hancock radically re-worked the tune, combining elements of funk, for the album Head Hunters (1973).