October 12, 2012 l By Ablx Staff
Much to the excitement of musicians and jazz aficiandos worldwide, the highly anticipated CD release by jazz-fusion legends Scott Henderson, Jeff Berlin and Dennis Chambers, will be released on Tone Center Records (a division of Shrapnel Records) on October 16, 2012. Considered one of the most phenomenal trios in the history of jazz-fusion, HBC's debut CD delivers a full dose of virtuosic performances guaranteed to thrill and inspire all who listen.
“The trio is all about interplay,” explains guitarist Scott Henderson. “Jeff and I have always had a very high level of communication when we play together, and putting Dennis in the mix notches it up even higher. He's an extremely musical drummer, but at the same time has the ability to bring the energy up to scary levels.” Bassist Jeff Berlin adds, “We pretty much have the same vision of how three strong players should sound together. We function well on many levels; we're friends and love to hang. We're also individually dedicated to high standards of playing.”
The music on the CD reflects the influences and spirit of HBC. Tracks include covers by Weather Report, Herbie Hancock, Billy Cobham and originals penned by Henderson and Berlin individually. Says Jeff. “We all agreed to the repertoire but Scott picked most of the songs.” Scott explains, “I thought it would be cool if a guitar trio covered songs by keyboard players like Joe Zawinul and Herbie Hancock, though we did some Wayne Shorter tunes as well.”
Before recording their debut album, HBC hit the road first, refining their repertoire in front of thousands of elated fans. “We try to find new ways to play at every gig,” Jeff explains. “When we are gigging our motor is always set to high.” Scott adds, “Because the three of us have so much experience playing different styles of music, we're able to go from graceful straight-ahead jazz to heavy metal and just about everywhere in between, so it's an extremely versatile band, which makes it a lot of fun.”
Scott Henderson is considered one of the premier jazz-fusion guitarists performing on the planet today. Although Henderson claims to be more of a blues-rock player, with influences like Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix and Ritchie Blackmore, it was the influence of jazz that led him to the style of playing and composing he is now famous for. Henderson has recorded and toured with such notable artists as Chick Corea's Elektric Band, Jean-Luc Ponty, and a four year stint with Weather Report legend Joe Zawinul. He formed the band Tribal Tech in 1984 with bassist Gary Willis, and recorded ten critically acclaimed albums. In 1991 Scott Henderson was named by Guitar World as the #1 Jazz Guitarist, and in January 1992 he was named #1 Jazz Guitarist in Guitar Player's Annual Reader's Poll. Henderson has also released three well-received solo albums as well as two releases with Vital Tech Tones, a trio collaboration with bassist Victor Wooten and ex-Journey/Vital Information leader Steve Smith on drums. As is often the case with a musician of Scott's caliber, the demand is great that he share his knowledge with the current generation of guitarists. He is on the faculty at Musician's Institute in Hollywood, and has written columns for Guitar Player, Guitar World and Guitar School magazines.
Jeff Berlin is a legend of the electric bass, considered by many to be the finest electric bass player in the world. A true master of the bass, Jeff Berlin has played with the likes of Bill Bruford, Alan Holdsworth, AWBH and George Benson. Jeff Berlin's resume reads like the who's who of the higher echelon of music artists. Jeff Berlin was even asked to join Van Halen, an invitation that he actually turned down. Not only is Jeff Berlin a innovator in the jazz field, but rock players are constantly siting him as their major influence. Carlos Santana called Jeff the “best bassist in the world”, while Rush’s Geddy Lee used the phrase “best bassist on the planet!” Jeff Berlin's innovative bass playing has influenced a generation of bass players world-wide. He was voted #1 Jazz Bassist by the readers of Guitar Player Magazine. Jeff also pioneered a technique called 'two handed tapping', when he performed this style on the track Motherlode from his 1985 debut solo album called 'Champion'. The founder of The Players School of Music in Clearwater, Florida, Jeff has also been at the forefront of music education for almost 30 years. His columns in Guitar Player and Bass Player magazines were the most read columns due to their controversial content of music education. Jeff single-handedly has re-vamped music education by dismissing popular methods of learning such as using electronic tuners, metronomes, handgrips, tablature, or any study method that does not include musical content.
Dennis Chambers is a miracle in modern music; a formidable, ferocious and ultra-funky presence behind the drum kit in such celebrated ensembles as Parliament-Funkadelic, Steely Dan, Santana and the Brecker Brothers, as well as incendiary fusion outfits led by guitarists John Scofield, Steve Khan, Mike Stern and John McLaughlin. A remarkably versatile drummer who has shown limitless abilities to swing on a small kit in traditional jazz settings or flaunt his stylistic chops in rock-fusion super sessions, Dennis Chambers is one of the most recorded and sought after drummers in the world of Jazz-Fusion. In 2007, just before Led Zeppelin was scheduled to perform at the O2 Arena in London, John Bonham's son Jason was asked in an interview, if he was to give up the drum seat for the reunited Zeppelin, who would he recommend to fill the coveted drum throne. He replied, “I would probably want a jazz drummer with a strong swing feel. Dennis Chambers...I think he would 'get it', whereas other rock drummers wouldn't.”
And now, these three icons of jazz-fusion have come together to form a supergroup that has recorded a ground breaking debut CD! “I'm happy with it,” Scott says of the new CD, “and for me that's saying a lot because I'm very self critical. Being a big fan of the musicians we covered, I worked really hard to make the songs sound as huge and textural as they are on the original recordings, which meant doing a lot of layering.” Jeff concludes, “I coundn't be more pleased with the results.”