Eddie Henderson

Mahal

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Although Eddie Henderson rounded up a familiar, distinguished roster of help this time -- including his old employer Herbie Hancock, his old hornmates Bennie Maupin and Julian Priester, plus guest Headhunters Paul Jackson and Bill Summers -- not much had changed from his first Capitol release to his second. This meant more disco excursions for Capitol's A&R department and more listless themes for Henderson's horn to purvey, although his solo contributions are somewhat more involving this time. Henderson's version of one of the few memorable compositions on the record, Hancock's lovely "Butterfly" is a disco disaster -- all of its subtleties and sophisticated textures grounded away under the beat -- and Hancock himself can be indicted as a co-conspirator. Oddly enough, through all of the changes in his style and backings, Skip Drinkwater remained Henderson's producer all the way through the '70s -- which speaks well for loyalty if not for an artistic track record pointedly headed downhill.

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