Norma Tanega & Mike Henderson — HybridVigor
(TH Music 001, 1996, CD)
by David Ashcraft, Published 1999-01-01
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.
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more
Alquimia & Jose Luis Fernandez Ledesma - Dead Tongues – Alquimia is a vocalist, composer and multi-instrumentalist who has three previous albums to her credit in the pre-hispanic/new electronic music area, while Fernandez Ledesma is the de-facto leader of... (1996) » Read more