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Eddie Henderson - Realization CD (album) cover


Eddie Henderson


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.61 | 37 ratings

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5 stars With a careless misclick of the button, I lost a very long and detailed review. This one will be shorter (not Wayne Shorter, though he is also excellent), or at least less detailed. I would not have guessed that it would have taken "Realization" to realize the importance of writing such stuff first using a program such as Word which saves one's wordiness.

"Realization" is my favourite Eddie Henderson album, one of my favourite "Mwandishi players" albums, and I consider it to be an essential Fusion album. The music blends funk, modal jazz, and cosmic "spacey" music/ electronics, in an exhilarating fashion. It is finely nuanced, and while the music is very busy at times, there is space for the music to breathe. It is a stunning effort by Eddie Henderson, as well as those that joined him.

All of the players are in top-notch form, and Henderson is, I think, one of the finest trumpeters in Fusion -- sadly he is not as widely recognised as I think he deserves. To think that music was a side-line for him as he was also a medical doctor. This album, and other albums of his, was not commercially successful at the time, and was largely forgotten and neglected until the later release on CD (his "Anthology" compilation with this and "Inside Out" has been excellently remastered and is well worth getting), There has been some quite recent surge in interest in Henderson's early music by dubbers. His music has been sampled quite extensively -- rub-a-dub-dubbed by DJ George "Dubya" Bush; now there's a thought, lame though it is. In fact, a great many terrific Fusion works are being sampled/ dubbed these days).

This album comes from a really innovative and exciting time in Fusion, and stands, I feel, amongst the very best of its ilk. Other players that Henderson was acquainted with, including the Mwandishi band (see Herbie Hancock's "Mwandishi", "Crossings", and "Sextant") were also releasing amazing material. I see this album as a spin-off or extension of the "Mwandishi" work, and this is a "Mwandishi" band effort (which is not to underplay Henderson's importance to the project under his name). Aside from shared members who came together to work with the former Mwadishi member Henderson, musically it falls into that category. Aside from Hancock's influence (as well as other Mwandishi members), I think Gleeson's work cannot be understated in giving it that cohesive Mwandishi sound (as in the "Crossings" and "Sextant" parts of the Mwandishi album trilogy -- the fusion of electronics).

This is an absolutely essential album for those who like Herbie Hancock and friends Mwandishi trilogy. Aside from "Crossings", "Sextant", and "Mwandishi", albums with a musical relation to "Realization" worth getting include: - Eddie Henderson - "Inside Out" (if you don't have Anthology, Vol. II), and "Sunburst". - Julian Priester's fantastic "Love, Love" and his "Polarization". - Bennie Maupin - "The Jewel in the Lotus" and "Slow Traffic to the Right". - Buster Williams - Pinnacle. and Norman Connors - "Dance of Magic" and "Dark of Light".

Lenny White, who performed on this album, released to my mind one of the most stunning Fusion albums with "Venusian Summer", though he has other excellent works too. Billy Hart's "Enchance is good", and, though different, Pat Gleeson's electronic explorations in "Beyond the Sun" are very good.

Of course mentors to Henderson such as Miles Davis and Freddie Hubbard should need no introduction, but if they both do, you have wonderful discoveries ahead.

A word of warning: I don't recommend "Realization" to those who can't take their jazz more adventurous than Kenny G.

Logan | 5/5 |


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