Exposé Online banner

Norma Tanega & Mike Henderson — HybridVigor
(TH Music 001, 1996, CD)

by David Ashcraft, Published 1999-01-01

HybridVigor Cover art

Despite the presence of guitarist Mike Henderson, this disc sounds nothing like Djam Karet. Rather it is a pleasant if unspectacular acoustic excursion combining the talents of Henderson with master percussionist Norma Tanega. The album is subtle and it grows on you with repeated listenings. Tanega generates lively grooves and Henderson contributes strong six and twelve string rhythm playing to propel the tunes. They interact nicely and approach the album as equals as opposed to a lead and backing instrument role. The very nature of the acoustic duo is somewhat limiting due to the fact that only one harmony / melody instrument is available to carry the tunes. This isn’t to say that Tanega’s contribution isn’t critical, since she is a multi-dimensional player with a wide array of sounds. It’s just that she is primarily a rhythm player and there is only so much she can do.

An interesting comparison can be drawn to Steve Tibbetts’ classic Yr album since the instrumentation is very similar. The aspect that elevated Tibbetts’ release was the multi-tracking that introduced layers of acoustic and electric guitars along with Marc Anderson’s percussion. It was a highly successful approach and one that might have enhanced this disc as well. There are still plenty of things to like about this album, whether it is the melodic guitar chordal excursions, the contrast of clay drums versus congas, or the tasteful swells of sound that Norma and Mike create together. It’s a low-key but enjoyable outing that showcases the interaction of these two fine musicians.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 16, 1996 releases

Related artist(s): Mike Henderson, Norma Tanega

Latest news

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Blocco Mentale - POA – Here's an Italian band from 1973 that, instead of taking their cue from the keyboard driven sound of ELP, have more in common with the sound of Jethro Tull, early PFM, maybe Blodwyn Pig, and perhaps...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues