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With a fusion of jazz, blues and rock, guitarist Scott Henderson put together a set of his own songs; the lone exception is Jaco Pastorius’ "Continuum." Most of the album features Thelma Houston with a blues trio; Houston wails while Henderson smokes in a contemporary electric blues vein. Most of the guitarist’s career has been based on fusion; leaders with whom Henderson worked early on include Joe Zawinul, Jean-Luc Ponty, and Chick Corea with his Elektrik Band. Complete information on the guitarist may be found at http://www.ejn.it/mus/s_hender.htm . In 1986 Henderson and Gary Willis founded the first edition of Tribal Tech, a fusion band who’s released eight albums since. More information about Tribal Tech may be found at http://home.earthlink.net/~scottkinsey/tribal.htm .
Alongside Henderson’s ferocious guitar and the fluid singing of Houston is the propulsive team of bassist Dave Carpenter and drummer Kirk Covington. The title track is a slow vocal blues with emotional guitar fills and an exciting interlude. The Bo Diddley beat of "Meter Maid" carries the singer’s tale of urban living with a comfortable feeling that makes the background pleasurable and the lyrics understandable. There are places on the album, however, where the lyrics’ meaning may seem offensive to someone who’s never had a serious long-term relationship. The horns only appear on "Dolemite." Carpenter and Covington rip off a genuine "Continuum" with support from Scott Kinsey at the organ and Henderson on acoustic guitar. The up-tempo "Harpoon" pushes the envelope with a syncopated New Orleans shuffle and exciting solos from Henderson & Pat O’Brien. The music is fun, and the artist is quite talented.
Track Listing: Dolemite; Tore Down House; Meter Maid; I Hate You; Gittar School; Xanax; Continuum; You Get Off On Me; Mocha; Harpoon; Same As You.
Personnel: Scott Henderson- guitar; Thelma Houston, Masta Edwards- vocals; Dave Carpenter- electric bass; Kirk Covington- drums; Scott Kinsey- keyboards; Albert Wing- alto sax, tenor sax, flute; Mike Nelson- tenor sax, baritone sax; Dan Fornero, Walt Fowler- trumpet; Eric Jorgenson- trombone; Pat O
As a songwriter and vocalist, I love jazz for the experience of being in the center of intense creativity. It is the most potent form of music for keeping the artist and the audience in the 'now. Being in the moment is essential for humans, and we need help in learning how to do that. As a songwriter, I need the depth of musicality that jazz voicings can give my stories. My songs seem light and whimsical, but the message is not.
I met my main collaborator, Mark Fitzgibbon, at one of his gigs. I needed to do my first original album, and his playing was masterful, robust, and beautiful. At the time, I didn't realize how suited we were as a team. We're onto our 4rth album together.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to a really clear and simple version of a song so you can then hear what the musicians are doing and enjoy their creativity and musicality. Also, you have to see jazz live to appreciate it fully. You'll never feel it the same way listening to a CD or online. You need the vibration to go through your body to really get it!
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