Sunday, February 14, 2016

Tribal Tech - 1985 [1990] "Spears"

Spears is the 1985 debut album by fusion band Tribal Tech, a project led by guitarist Scott Henderson and bassist Gary Willis.

Scott Henderson's perfectly summarized his outlook when, in 1991, he told L.A. Jazz Scene: "Fusion isn't a dirty word to me. I'm proud to call myself a fusion player." Indeed, real jazz-fusion -- spontaneous, risk-taking and improvisatory -- is exactly what the electric guitarist passionately and enthusiastically embraces on Spears, his debut album. Drawing on such influences as Return to Forever, John McLaughlin and Weather Report, the hard-edged guitarist set the uncompromising tone for his career and that of his band Tribal Tech which, in 1985, included Gary Willis on electric bass, Pat Coil on electric keyboards, Michael Brecker-disciple Bob Sheppard on tenor and soprano sax and flute, Steve Houghton on drums and Brad Dutz on mallets & percussion. Often showing a complex and cerebral sense of melody and harmony, this CD (first released on Passport and reissued by Relativity in 1990) underscores the fact that when fusion is played with integrity, it's very much an extension of the jazz tradition.

After stints with Chick Corea and Jean Luc Ponty, Scott Henderson goes bandleader, and the results are excellent. A bright spot in the blight known as 80's fusion. Opening and closing tracks Caribbean and Big Fun ended up being well regarded enough to be mainstays in their live set all the way til the bands demise in 2002. My favorites though, would be Punkin Head and Spears. The only beef with this record would be really low mastering, so just crank it up

Fantastic debut of one of the most important bands in the history of fusion music!Real fantastic alchemy between over the top musicians,amazing technical chops and an album who is different compared to all the other TRIBAL TECH albums!Scott Henderson and Gary Willis will remain the core of thie amazing project  for many years to come!Great sound and  especially a wonderful guitar sound!Almost a perfect album!4

I am a great fan of jazz, especially jazz-fusion from the late sixties, seventies and early eighties. This particular album is from the latter time and features one of the greatest guitarists ever, Scott Henderson, who was an admirer of my favorite all-time guitarist (Ritchie Blackmore) from whom, it is obvious, he learned a few tricks of the trade. I'm looking forward to getting the rest of the band's cds which have better sound than my old albums.

Courtesy "Original uploader"

Track listing

    All Songs Written By Scott Henderson, except Tribal by Scott Henderson & Gary Willis.

01    "Caribbean" – 8:13
02    "Punkin Head" – 6:10
03    "Ivy Towers" – 4:49
04    "Tribal" – 2:12
05    "Spears" – 7:10
06    "Island City Shuffle" – 7:28
07    "Big Fun" – 7:58


    Scott Henderson - Guitars
    Pat Coil - Keyboards
    Gary Willis - Bass
    Steve Houghton - Drums
    Brad Dutz - Percussion
    Bob Sheppard - Sax, Flute