Heritage

Heritage

by Eddie Henderson
     
 
For 1973's dynamite Realization and Inside Out, trumpeter Eddie Henderson reassembled most of the legendary Herbie Hancock sextet he'd been part of. In 1975 after leaving Capricorn for Blue Note, he kept elements of that group together for Sunburst, his label debut, with some major changes: George Duke played keyboards

Overview

For 1973's dynamite Realization and Inside Out, trumpeter Eddie Henderson reassembled most of the legendary Herbie Hancock sextet he'd been part of. In 1975 after leaving Capricorn for Blue Note, he kept elements of that group together for Sunburst, his label debut, with some major changes: George Duke played keyboards in place of Hancock; bassist Paul Jackson was replaced by Alphonso Johnson, and drummer Mike Clarke with Billy Hart. It resulted in a funkier experimental outing that tightened up the tunes a bit, but left plenty of blowing room for himself, reedman Bennie Maupin, and trombonist Julian Priester. The set sold well commercially, but many jazz critics derided it because of its perceived "commercial" overtones. Released in 1976, Heritage was greeted with even more ambivalence, but has since come to be regarded -- with Sunburst -- as one of the great recordings of Henderson's career by an entirely new generation who hold funky rhythms and electronics in high esteem. Henderson brought back Priester, and Jackson and Clarke returned to the rhythm section (Hart played on the album's final cut, "Dark Shadow"). Filling out the band were a young Patrice Rushen on keyboards, saxophonist, flutist, and clarinetist Hadley Caliman in place of Maupin, and percussionist James Mtume from the Miles Davis group. Henderson emulates the spacier edges of Davis' electric period in his own playing. Long lines of few notes are accompanied by hypnotic basslines and multi-layered polyrhythmic percussion on "Time and Space." On "Acuphuncture," Rushen's wah-wah keyboards, Jackson's driven bassline, and Clarke's rimshots and breakbeats introduce a lilting pair of lines from Caliman's flute and Henderson's trumpet, but within a minute, the tune cracks open into a driving, hard funk jam with Henderson laying down some short, choppy post-bop lines on his horn. Things become even darker -- and funkier -- on "Kudu," where Jackson's bassline is at the top of the mix. It's furious as it pops against Mtume's roiling congas in direct assaultive counterpoint to Clarke's kit work. Rushen creates fat, choppy chords and vamps for Henderson, Priester, and Caliman to solo over. It's tighter than Miles' electric material, but less spacy. Priester's trombone feels like a futuristic version of one on the front line in the J.B.'s. "Mganga" has a less pronounced set of lyric imagery, and offers the best explanation for some punters' trouble with the set: the abstraction (and absence) of a true front line sense of lyric in favor of angular, articulate countermelodies played by individual horns that move toward the rhythms almost in opposition, rather than play above them. The beautiful Star Trek futurism of the brass over Rushen's crazy solo also rocks. Caliman's bass clarinet tone is all but indistinguishable from Maupin's on "Dark Shadow" except for its economy. (He plays a continuous seven-note vamp through the entire tune.) The loopy, mournful wah-wah trumpet overdubs are a contrapuntal melody to that, but the drums begin to shake loose during Priester's future blues solo. The cut explodes at about the four-minute mark via Henderson's solo before deconstructing all but the vamps toward its close. Heritage is a wonderful set, and should be revisited by anyone who either missed or was put off by it initially. For the new generation of jazz and funk heads, this one is right up your alley -- these are some dark, freaky, and delicious grooves that bear further investigation. Heritage was re-released on CD in 2008 as part of the Blue Note Rare Groove Series.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/02/2008
Label:
Blue Note Records
UPC:
5099952238024
catalogNumber:
22380

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Eddie Henderson   Primary Artist,Trumpet,Flugelhorn,Horn
Mtume   Percussion,Piano,Conga
Patrice Rushen   Synthesizer,Clarinet,Clavichord,Electric Piano,Clavinet
Hadley Caliman   Clarinet,Flute,Bass Clarinet,Soprano Saxophone
Billy Hart   Drums
Julian Priester   Alto,Trombone,Bass Trombone,Tamboura,Alto Trombone,Tenor (Vocal),Tenor Trombone
Mike Clark   Drums
Mike Clarke   Drums
Paul Jackson   Bass,Electric Bass
Woody Theus   Drums

Technical Credits

Mtume   Contributor
Fred Catero   Engineer
Michael Cuscuna   Reissue Producer
Skip Drinkwater   Producer,Audio Production
Bruce Steinberg   Art Direction,Cover Design
Ronnie Reese   Liner Notes
Konstantin Dzhibilov   Reissue Design

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