Scott Henderson: People Mover

Glenn Astarita By

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Scott Henderson looms as one of the reigning guitar heroes since the mid-1980s, beginning with the powerhouse jazz fusion band Tribal Tech—an outfit that helped bring this genre back to life after it waned in the late 1970s and early 1980s. And other than his lengthy and impressive solo career, he's performed with the Zawinul Syndicate, Chick Corea's Elektric Band, violinist Jean Luc-Ponty and a host of others, besides his ongoing educational work.

The guitarist's personalized sound and mode of execution, consisting of blues rock, hard rock and jazz continues on this energized trio outing with former Tribal Tech band mate, keyboardist Scott Kinsey who is credited with electronic percussion duties on select tracks. As anticipated, the trio smokes. Once again, Henderson terrorizes his axe via distortion-laced diminutive phrasings and sweetens the pot with airy volume control techniques, supported by his limber, yet impactful rhythm section.

The band covers a broad spectrum of cadences and storylines, largely engineered with climactic opuses, off-centered unison choruses and melodic undercurrents as the guitarist strangles his strings amid overlaid guitar parts and layered electronics effects. But "Primary Location" is a piece that is reminiscent of his tenure with Tribal Tech due to a bulging funk and fusion-based motif, amped by Henderson's wailing solo, dappled with blistering upper-register lines. And they generate a flamboyant swing vamp with the leader's medium-toned single note soloing during "People Mover," spiced with a jazz rock vibe and drummer Archibald Ligonniere's swarming polyrhythmic squalls.

"Satellite" is a surging and grinding straight-four groove, as the drummer stirs the pulse with his pounding double bass drum pedals rocking out at full-speed-ahead. However, "Syringe" incorporates prog metal shadings interspersed with bizarre effects, an odd-metered theme and quirky intervals, contrasted with the guitarist's turbulent polytonal licks and bassist Romain Laba's fluid counterbalancing solo. Henderson and his cohorts are at the top of their game on this exhilarating in-your-face type effort, driven home with the leader's electrifying slice of guitar nirvana.

Track Listing: Transatlantic; Primary Location; All Aboard; People Mover; Satellite; Blood Moon; Blue Heron Boulevard; Syringe; Happy Fun-Sing; Fawn.

Personnel: Scott Henderson: guitar; Romain Labaye: bass; Archibald Ligonniere: drums with Scott Kinsey: electronic percussion.

Title: People Mover | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Self Produced


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