Tribal Tech

Spears

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Scott Henderson's perfectly summarized his outlook when, in 1991, he told L.A. Jazz Scene: "Fusion isn't a dirty word to me. I'm proud to call myself a fusion player." Indeed, real jazz-fusion -- spontaneous, risk-taking and improvisatory -- is exactly what the electric guitarist passionately and enthusiastically embraces on Spears, his debut album. Drawing on such influences as Return to Forever, John McLaughlin and Weather Report, the hard-edged guitarist set the uncompromising tone for his career and that of his band Tribal Tech which, in 1985, included Gary Willis on electric bass, Pat Coil on electric keyboards, Michael Brecker-disciple Bob Sheppard on tenor and soprano sax and flute, Steve Houghton on drums and Brad Dutz on mallets & percussion. Often showing a complex and cerebral sense of melody and harmony, this CD (first released on Passport and reissued by Relativity in 1990) underscores the fact that when fusion is played with integrity, it's very much an extension of the jazz tradition.

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