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Scott Henderson: Live!

Scott Henderson refined his whammy-bar damaged postbop for years with the band Tribal Tech before diving into harmonically sophisticated blues-rock. On Live! (Tone Center), he and his trio mates, bassist John Humphrey and drummer Kirk Covington, road-test some material from their 2002 effort Well to the Bone, among other things. This double-disc set features Covington’s growl of a voice on six of its 13 cuts. But the guitar payoff is substantial-that is, if you can get past lyrics like these, to “Dog Party”: “‘Cause whatever you rolled in baby/Lawd, you know it sure smells good.” Henderson shreds brutally on “Sultan’s Boogie,” the Tribal Tech piece “Jakarta” and the blistering shuffle “Tacos Are Good.” On disc two he drops the volume for a straightahead reading of Wayne Shorter’s “Fee Fi Fo Fum.” Covington is at his best on cookers like “Nairobe Express,” and Henderson, with his chops and musical smarts, rescues even the trivial “Meter Maid.”

Originally Published