You're probably wondering how a review of a jazz rock fusion album ends up on a site dedicated mostly to rock and metal. It's simple, actually. In the late Seventies, you would easily find next to Judas Priest's Sad Wings of Destiny albums by Weather Report, Billy Cobham, and Chick Corea. Actually, jazz fusion isn't that far removed from progressive rock, another favorite genre of mine, so it all fits.
HBC is trio of some very fine jazz fusion veterans. Guitarist Scott Henderson has played with as Chick Corea's Elektric Band, Jean-Luc Ponty, and a four year gig with Weather Report legend Joe Zawinul. Bass player Jeff Berlin has spent time with Bill Bruford, Alan Holdsworth, AWBH and George Benson, to name a few. He actually turned down an offer to play bass for Van Halen. Drummer Dennis Chambers is another virtuoso having played with greats like Parliament-Funkadelic, Steely Dan, Santana and the Brecker Brothers, as well as fusion bands led by guitarists John Scofield, Steve Khan, Mike Stern and John McLaughlin. On top of all this, all three have accolades out the yazoo. Needless to say, these guys are very good, and this self-titled debut displays their skill in abundance.
Of the nine songs, seven are covers including Herbie Hancock's Actual Proof, Billy Cobham's Stratus, and Weather Report's rather famous Mysterious Traveller as some of the best ones. Of the two original numbers Wayward Son of Devil Boy puts the 'fusion' into jazz rock fusion with Henderson's smoking hot rock and blues guitar work. Alternatively, Threedown is basically Berlin going solo on his bass.
If anything HBC echoes an earlier time, the nearly 'golden age' of Seventies jazz rock fusion. This is solid material preformed by three talented fellows. It would have been made better with more original tunes. Possibly we'll get more of this in their sophomore release. Easily recommended.