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Eddie Henderson - Inside Out CD (album) cover

INSIDE OUT

Eddie Henderson

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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js (Easy Money)
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Herbie Hancock's psychedelic fusion masterpiece, Crossings, was such a powerful work that it practically inspired an entire musical movement, albeit one that was short lived, but a movement that brought us many excellent progressive jazz recordings. Like Crossings, Eddie Henderson's Inside Out features top notch innovators such as Bennie Maupin on reeds, Hancock on keyboards and Patrick Gleeson on synthesizer, but is missing one key player; producer David Rubinson. The more I listen to the various spin-off groups from Herbie's Sextet, the more I'm convinced that Rubinson is the key to Crossing's superb sound, lay-out and compositional flow. Some of the production problems on Inside Out include a bass that is too loud and persistent, and a drum mix that is vague and muddy because it favors snare and crash over everything else. With a little better production this album could have been a masterpiece.

From a musical perspective this record is top-notch. All the elements you would expect from this collective are here: brilliant woodwind and muted horn orchestrations, abstract melodies that mirror mid-20th century composers, Gleeson's unique synthesizer plus echo tone colors that sound like no one else, polyrhythmic percussion, and of course Herbie who always brings his Debussy meets Africa tonal palate and rhythms to any project. On this album he expands his Fender Rhodes into an electronic orchestra by manipulating it through an echoplex, often blending with Pat Gleeson's roving ARP 2600.

One cut that caught my ear was Discoveries, on which drummers Eric Gravalt and Billy Hart play in a rapid persistent militaristic fashion that predates the 80s innovations of Ronald Shannon Jackson. Another reccomended piece is album closer Exit 1, which is a slowly unfolding melody sans percussion on which all the musicians blend into an orchestral type sound somewhere between Scriabin and Sun Ra. Overall this album is highly recommended for folks that enjoy Hancock's Sextet and it's many spin-off groups, or anyone who likes progressive psychedelic jazz fusion from the early 70s. It's interesting to note that this is on the Capricorn label, I wonder if Eddie did any opening sets for the Allmans, ha ha.

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Send comments to js (Easy Money) (BETA) | Report this review (#252080)
Posted Saturday, November 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Like Eddie Henderson's debut this is very much in the "Mwandishi" spirit as we once again get Herbie Hancock's sextet, but instead of additional drum help from Lenny White, this time it comes from Eric Gravatt. Eric played with WEATHER REPORT and is on their first live album. I have to mention as well that Terry Bozio stated that the first time he saw Eric drum in San Fransisco it changed his life, he had never seen that kind of intensity from a drummer before. We also get some congas from Bill Summers, who was one of the "Headhunters". Eddie writes all but two of the tracks just like on the debut. Bennie Maupin wrote the first and last track on this album.

"Moussaka" opens with spacey sounds and flute. It changes before a minute as drums, horns and bass take over. It settles then kicks back in before 3 minutes. Piano from Herbie after 4 minutes. "Omnipresence" is a short tune with piano melodies as horns play over top. The horns eventually take over as the drums rumble.

"Discoveries" is laid back but it's building. Great sound 2 minutes in.Intense. It does settle back down. There is so much going on in the next track "Fusion" as the trumpet plays over top. Excellent tune. "Dreams" opens with bass as horns come and go. The drums are outstanding here. Piano comes and goes too. "Inside Out" is the title track and the longest one at almost 9 1/2 minutes. Nice bass intro as a beat comes in with horns and keyboards. The bass shines throughout. "Exit #1" has some atmosphere to it as it slowly plays out.

Not as good as the debut but it's certainly a 4 star album. Man these guys had an adventerous spirit, willing to be experimental and different from the norm.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#266025)
Posted Saturday, February 13, 2010 | Review Permalink
Bonnek
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Prog Metal Team
4 stars Henderson's second solo album was recorded in October 1973, only half a year after his brilliant "Realization". The line-up remained unchanged but for the drum position, this time occupied by Eric Gravat and Billy Hart. The rest of the band are his Mwandishi cohorts, Herbie Hancock included.

The music is still of the psychedelic experimental kind but the change in drummers brought in more groove. At times the rhythms almost sound like 90s drum&bass dance music. Henderson's trumpet is the main soloing instrument and it transports these intricate break-beat rhythms to higher, almost spacey realms. The dazzling opener is a perfect representative of the new style and one of the most accomplished pieces of the album.

The second half of the album starts with the more experimental "Dreams", a more free-jazz inclined piece that provides a welcome variation to the more accessible and funkier material around it. The word "funky" must be taken with a grain of salt though, don't expect the heavily syncopated rhythms of the title track in a club near you any time soon.

I must admit I had neglected this album at first; it is issued on 1 CD with the dazzling "Realization" and after hearing that masterpiece I rather choose for a bit of silence rather then another 40 minutes of just slightly less amazing material. But that's not fair, it's entirely excellent in its own right.

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#443134)
Posted Thursday, May 05, 2011 | Review Permalink

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