By the time Illicit was released in 1992, Scott Henderson & Tribal Tech (led by Henderson and bassists Gary Willis) had been established as one of the premier, if not the premier, experimental fusion outfits on the globe. That's "fusion" as in the fusion of jazz and rock, not the vanilla instrumental musings of artists like Kenny G, which are occasionally mislabled as such. Henderson's dramatic and powerful soloing and his incredibly refined chord work were the greatest causes for the early attention the group received, and Illicit only furthered the guitarist's reputation with its fire and musical vigor. Henderson's tone is sublime and Holdsworth-ian in its often horn-like quality, and Covington, bassist Gary Willis, and keyboardist Scott Kinsey somehow manage to match Henderson's dynamism and character. "Torque" is Illicit's clear highlight, with its prog rock bombast of power chords topped with angular, classically influenced harmony keyboard and guitar flurries. Experimental and intense, Illicit is as solid an offering as Tribal Tech delivered in the '90s.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Jason Anderson