(Tone Center) is guitarist Scott Henderson’s newest album with his newly formed blues band. The blues/fusion guitarist whose work with Tribal Tech and collaborations with Victor Wooten and Steve Smith with Vital Tech Tones has made him a familiar face to the world of shredder guitarists. Live! is Henderson’s the fourth release with Scott Henderson’s Blues Band since 2002’s Well to the Bone. On Live! Scott is in trio format with John Humphrey on bass and Tribal Tech partner Kirk Covington lending his voice along with his drums. The majority of the 2 disc album was recorded live from La Ve Lee Jazz Club in California. Scott continues to add his distinct blend of Hendrix and Vaughan with Via and Satriani through each fun song and unique composition. What in most enjoyable about the album is it is not a flat out blues record. Scott mixes things up very nicely, from blues to straight ahead jazz to even drum’n bass, Live! covers a lot of ground.
The two disc album is like a live greatest hits of nearly all the groups that Scott has performed with, from the blues band to Tribal Tech, you get a taste of everything. It is a great display of the many faces of Scott Henderson. His tones are wonderful and seem to speak each of the various emotions being sought after in each tune. Much of the material on the album is from his 2002 release Well to the Bone (ESC Records) including Covington doing the vocals on Well to the Bone
and Meter Maid
. One of the bigger highlights is the trios rendition of Jakarta
, first recorded off of Reality Check. with Tribal Tech. Though much of the album is Scott digging deep into his great blues and rock bag, he still does a very nice rendition of Wayne Shorter’s Fee Fi Fo Fum
. The band could easily record a good straight-ahead record. The finest work comes when the trio performs Nairobe Express
, first recorded with Wooten and Smith on VTT2
. Not only is it a great fusion composition, the trio plays it beautifully and the solos from each member are outstanding. Most notably is Covington laying down a drum ‘n bass groove in a way that would make Jojo Mayer smile. The album ends with Scott doing some chicken picken on Hillbilly in the Band
. I tell you the man can do it all very well. With fantastic solos by the entire trio throughout, this live album lacks nothing, even the recording quality is great.
Live! is blues, Live! is rock, Live! is fusion at its finest. I highly recommend Live! for all Henderson, Tribal Tech, VTT and just plan guitar fans all around.