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

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

October Equus - October Equus – October Equus is a new progressive quartet from Spain comprised of Victor Rodriguez on keyboards, Amanda Pazos on bass guitar, Txema Fernandes on drums, and Ángel Ontalva on guitars. On their...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues