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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 Urban space funk fusion

In keeping with my recent crush on all things Mwandishi, I thought it was about time Eddie Henderson received his fair slice of the pie. I think it rather strange, that albums such as Sextant and Crossings are held in high esteem - both of them ornamenting the top 20 of the fusion chart, when Realization, whilst still boasting the same players ie Herbie Hancock, Billy Hart, Bennie Maupin, Pat Gleeson, Buster Williams, and Lenny White - gets next to nothing in terms of marketing. The fact of the matter is, that just like many other people who visit the forum here, I too learned of this album through Greg(Logan. The man with a thing for Sean Connery in red leather), who has been promoting this record ever since the battle of Waterloo.

For those of you who are into the Mwandishi sound, that is highly experimental fusion not unlike that you'd encounter on a Miles Davis album from around the same time, then you should be placing your order of this one right now. Realization is undeniably part of the big powerful and abstract boom of skilled jazz musicians breaching out in whatever psych/funk/rock constellation that sounded good to them. It's deep jungle music this - it throws you into the hot perspiring trance mode - jigging, swaying, bouncing and bobbing. Especially on this very release, you get the gist of what Herbie later on would crystallize in form of Head Hunters. The funky feel just shines through - making Realization one of the more easy approachable Mwandishi albums - at least according to my ears. Though not entirely funk per se, the way the drums and bass intertwine, compliment each other and just flat out zoom, writhe, contort and heave the actual rhythm side of things is downright masterly.

The trumpet of Henderson is easy recognisable. It stutters majestically on top of the proceedings - cockadooodling wildly over the music like an inspired rooster at sun-dawn. All through Realization the trumpet is never far away, either spreading some light whispering notes over loosely played electric piano bits - or up front in your face pachyderm warning calls. Teamed up with a definitively more spacey expression than Maupin's Jewel in the Lotus - much credited to Gleeson's murky and worming electronics, Realization roams an altogether different part of this band's explorations. It isn't as avant guarde as the former though, which again points towards my initial thoughts about Realization: This one should indeed be a no-brainer, if one is considering checking out a Mwandishi record. It is by far the most welcoming of the lot - even more so than Crossings.

If any of you people should feel interested in trying out fusion with a distinctive spacey funk vibe to it - one that is performed by some of the most gifted musicians, then Realization is an easy bet. I listen to it whilst driving, chilling, making dinner, working out - or just when I'm making my way down the streets of the city, highly intoxicated by the wondrous kick I get out of this urban jungle music flowing through my body, all the while I'm sniffing in the cool of the night, the smell of gasoline - bobbing along to the city beat like a real life McCoy hooked on jazz rock and the starry night city groove.

Guldbamsen | 5/5 |


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