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Eddie Henderson - Sunburst CD (album) cover

SUNBURST

Eddie Henderson

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Eddie Henderson's solo debut was excellent fusion album, one between best that genre releases of all time. Two years (and one album) later recorded " Sunburst" is really good album, but not on the same league.

Some line-up changes happened; there is no more Herbie Hancock on board (he is replaced by very capable keyboardist George Duke, but not the same league as well). Between other newcomers you can find Julian Priester on reeds and new electric bassist Alphonso Johnson. Still a very "star" line-up!

Music there is similar to their debut, but main (and important) change is funky rhythms. For sure, it was common trend in early 70-s, and Eddie Henderson's record isn't exception. But as result they loosed spacey and slightly psychedelic atmosphere for the favor of funk (same happened with Hancock's solo albums as well). But with that changes music missed part of its magic, became possibly more accessible, but not such excellent. Somewhere on second album's part you will hear even openly cheesy compositions!

Good album, but far from excellent debut and strong second album! My rating is 3+.

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Send comments to snobb (BETA) | Report this review (#303427)
Posted Monday, October 11, 2010 | Review Permalink
Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
3 stars 'Sunburst' is Henderson's third album and the first that he released after the 1972 'Mwandishi' sessions that led to his first two albums. The line-up still features various members from the Mwandishi line-up, bar notable absentee Herbie Hancock. The music is quite different though. The year is 1975 and fusion had lost much of its edge and experimentalism, and as a result lost much of it appeal for me.

This album largely follows the main taste of the day, with funky fusion and shorter 'catchy' compositions, at least compared to the free-jazz based improvisations and psychedelic sound of the early 70's. There are still some traces of Henderson's earlier spacey sound, the title track and 'Galaxy' are excellent examples. Also his emotive trumpet playing remained intact. But the main part of the album can be put in the section 'energetic funk fusion with brilliant musicianship'. And by brilliant musicianship I never mean dazzling solos or 'speed of light' finger exercise, but rather the concentrated and dynamic interplay that the band achieved here. Some of the tracks weigh a bit too light for me though, and despite their obvious qualities, I can go without easier going pieces like 'Hop Scotch' or 'Involuntary Bliss'.

I believe this is a very good album from its era but compared to Henderson's previous album I will need to settle for 3.5. Recommended if you want a more accessible introduction to Henderson's superb trumpet playing.

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#528738)
Posted Wednesday, September 21, 2011 | Review Permalink
stefro
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars A former alumni of both Herbie Hancock and Pharoah Sanders, trumpeter Eddie Henderson belongs to that small group of first-rate performers who lit up the early part of the 1970's with their quicksilver fusion of jazz and rock. Essentially in the same stylistic mould as Billy Cobham, Lenny White, Miles Davis and Hancock, Henderson issued his first solo album, 'Realization', in 1973 before subsequently enjoying a steady stream of work over the next three decades as both main-man and side player. However, for the best of Henderson as a solo performer look no further than his stellar 1975 album, which blends funky rhythms, spacey fusion soundscapes and classic jazz-rock ingredients into a refreshingly upbeat whole. Featuring a slightly more commercial sound than Billy Cobham's first two LP's but still firmly rooted in the classic 1970's fusion style, 'Sunburst' treads a slick line between attention-grabbing funk strut and progressive-tinged space-bop, the album gradually moving through from the playful opener 'Explodition', to the beautiful galactic swirls of 'Involuntary Bliss', the dense, star-kissed synth-jazz of the title-track, and eventually, to the blissed-out psych- fusion of album highlight 'Galaxy'. The longer 'Sunburst' plays, the deeper into progressive territory you get. As a result, 'Sunburst' proves a dazzling slices of early-seventies fusion, both for the jazz-funk crowd and all you lovers of Miles Davis and McLaughlin's Mahavishnu crew. Certainly up there with the likes of 'Spectrum', 'Big Fun' and 'Crossings', 'Sunburst' may well be the peak of Henderson's impressive career. The only problem? At the time of writing, 'Sunburst' isn't available on CD. Pity. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2013

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Send comments to stefro (BETA) | Report this review (#981830)
Posted Wednesday, June 19, 2013 | Review Permalink

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