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Bruce A. Henry | Connections

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Jazz: Jazz Vocals World: World Fusion Moods: Solo Male Artist
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Connections

by Bruce A. Henry

World Jazz featuring the dynamic and eclectic vocalist composer Bruce Henry along with a number of the Twin Cities' finest musicians.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Vocals
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Equinox
5:48 $0.99
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2. On The Red Clay
4:56 $0.99
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3. The Darker Brother
5:20 $0.99
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4. In a Sentimental Mood
4:54 $0.99
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5. Mighty, Mighty
5:12 $0.99
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6. Africa Cries Prelude
1:19 $0.99
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7. Africa Cries
6:05 $0.99
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8. Afro Blue
5:09 $0.99
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9. House of the Rising Sun
6:21 $0.99
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10. The Sound of Music
4:28 $0.99
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11. Moon
4:14 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Connections is a brand new release from Bruce A. Henry

"Connections" CD Reviews


Jazz-Not-Jazz, Germany
"[T]his singer certainly has that special something. Bruce A. Henry has this magic in his voice and singing that makes each of his songs special . . .a great diverse album every discerning jazz fan should own."



Mpls./St. Paul Magazine
"Get his new CD Connections and prepare to be moved: This CD is not just a masterful work, but also a portrait of the complexities and potential of the human spirit . . . he is a true master of the jazz art form."

St. Paul Pioneer Press
"He proves that he's not only a singer with outstanding skills, but also a man of great musical imagination."

Leigh Kamman - Minnesota Public Radio / THE JAZZ IMAGE™
"Composer/Lyricist/Messenger Supreme returns."

St. Paul Pioneer Press
"Connections [is] a mix of African-inspired roots jazz to standard American Balladry. Henry's warm, full baritone rests atop the sounds of a top flight orchestra."



Born in West Point, Mississippi, home of Howling Wolf, Bruce A. Henry was singing publicly by the age of 5 in his Baptist church on the West side of Chicago. Henry's musical education as a child included immersion in the work of Count Basie and Duke Ellington, favorites of Bruce's father (a pianist and Bruce's first musical mentor). Although Henry was classically trained at the Chicago Conservatory of Music, his love for improvisation proved to be a stronger calling. Influenced by Nina Simone, Al Jarreau and John Coltrane, to name a few, Bruce's journey has resulted in an eclectic style of world influenced jazz vocals and composition. Bruce possesses a three and one-half octave range, a pure voice with versatility and depth that few can match. His passion for an ever-expanding vision, both musically and personally, is the heart of his new release Connections.

Bruce's music has taken him to four continents, garnering a large following in France and the Far East. He has been heard on a Worldwide Radio Live Concert on the B.B.C. as well as notable movie soundtracks; Henry has performed on such exotic and legendary stages as the Malate concert in Manila, the Klezmer Festival in Israel, Le Bilboquet in Paris, The WhitBread in London, the Coconut Grove in Miami, the Waldorf Astoria in New York City and the Grand Wailea in Maui. Bruce makes his home in Minneapolis, where he regularly performs at top venues and prestigious events. Despite his frenetic performing and recording schedule, Bruce is a committed educator whose "Evolution of African American Music" workshop is an inspirational presentation indeed.

Connections:
Bruce A. Henry has been a hard working musician for many years, but his last solo studio release's street date was October 1994. Within moments of play, Connections' lead off track "Equinox" alerts the listener that this is the most personal and fulfilling recorded reflection of Henry's career ever. Encompassing a diverse mix of compositions, musical styles and accomplished musicians, Connections unfolds as a cohesive aural landscape, simultaneously feverish and serene.

Amidst the interpretations of fellow composers presented on Connections, Henry's own "Africa Cries" and "Moon" reveal the sweep of empathy and feeling that he brings to his compositions. Mahmoud El-Kati, a historian, respected elder, educator and historian, observes of Henry, "At the bottom, the real genius of Bruce Henry's music is his gift for marrying life experiences to musical ideas." "Africa Cries" is a mournful and hopeful love song for a continent, framed exquisitely by the guitar work of Dean McGraw. A telling centerpiece on Connections. The closing track, "Moon" has the feel of a song that has existed forever - a reflective ballad that is distinctly Bruce A. Henry.

Presenting "cover" songs can be tricky business. Some recreate, some deconstruct, others parody, some emulate and many represent. Bruce is one of those few who reimagines, advancing his musical goal of expanding one's vision. Bruce creates music for a love of art, craft and release, but also as a blueprint for (and a reflection of) a worldview. Listen to the sound of The Duke's "In A Sentimental Mood," the oft-misunderstood "House of the Rising Son" or Rogers and Hammerstein's "Sound of Music," and experience the reimagination of things we think we know well and sometimes take for granted.

As for "covers" of songs by the likes of Gil Scott Heron and John Coltrane, Freddie Hubbard and Mark Murphy, Santamaria and Oscar Brown, Jr., these are songs by artists for whom the term "cover" is simply inapplicable. The phrase "available for kindred interpretation," however, definitely applies. Bruce's musical adaptation of "Darker Brother / I Too Sing America" by Langston Hughes, coupling the great poet's words with Henry's spirit music, is the definition of an ode. For the record, the ethereal, beckoning gospel background vocals are typical of Henry's respect for the traditions that inform his art. "Darker Brother / I Too Sing America" defies categorization and defines connections.

Joining Bruce A. Henry on Connections is an incredible roster of musicians hailing from several spots on the globe. This simpatico ensemble supplies Connections with the world array of musical textures that Henry set out to capture on disc. A sampling of the talent on Connections includes keyboards by Adi Yeshaya (born in Israel), Nachito Herrera (from Cuba), Peter Schimke and Sean Turner; bass players extraordinaire Jay Young, Anthony Cox, Gordy Johnson and Enrique Toussaint; Yuri Merzhevsky (a native of St. Petersburg, Russia) on violin; drums and percussion by Michael Baker, Daryl Boudreaux, Shai Hayo, Gordy Knudtson, Marc Rio and Kevin Washington; horns by Pete Whitman, Happy Apple's Michael Lewis, and many more. The credits listed in Connections' liner notes make for very good reading for fans of outstanding musicianship. Better yet, listen to the sounds that make Connections.
Please visit www.bruceahenry.com.


DISCOGRAPHY - Bruce A. Henry
Solstice, Solstice Records (1978)
Exploded View / Steve Tibbets, ECM Records (1987)
Time Fish / Marc Anderson, Eastside Digital Records (1993)
One Living Soul, BAHLOVE Productions (1994)
Gershwin The Klezmer, Frozen Chosen Productions (1999)
Bruce A. Henry Live, BAHLOVE Productions (2000)
Connections, BAHLOVE Productions (2003)

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Reviews


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Sandra Hall Henry

Tranformation
This CD takes me to another place, another plane. One of peace and reflection as I listen to Africa Cries and Moon. It takes me to new heights when I listen to the Sound of Music--I LOVE the arrangement. And Spirits is an amazing piece--I can feel the spirits around me when I listen to this song. The whole CD is amazing, simply amazing.
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Sara Rhinehart

His best work so far. Lot's of positive vibes.
Connections takes you on a journey and get's you in touch with your own emotions. If you can't feel "Africa Cries" then you can't feel.
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S.T.

The ultimate blend of high artistry and accessability
This cd is a woderful representation of what a world class interpreter of song Bruce Henry is. Not only are the melodies beautifully rendered but his command of improvisation is astonishing! The arrangements are of the highest caliber - a standout is The Sound of Music. Every time I listen to it I hear things I missed the time before!
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Pat

I saw Bruce in concert and was hooked!
This ensemble of artists fronted by Bruce's voice is second to none! I really enjoyed seeing them perform in Minneapolis. The CD captures the enthusiasm and spirit of Bruce's live performances. It is worth buying!
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prisca molotsi

Wonderful vocalist, song selection a bit of a disappointment
Bruce Henry has a wonderful voice and his phrasing is impeccable. I feel, however, that he should have included more standards or standard arrangements in this CD. It gets to you after a while. The best song is Africa Cries, that is the reason why I bought the CD.
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oabthe3

Truly your love of good music is self evident!
With God speed brother Bruce A. Henry, keep on flying further & higher in your life's achievement of musical goals & objectives. My best wishes, from your Metro Community College buddy & friend.. Peace & Good Will to Mankind! Let's do something soon..... Oliver
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Philip

This is great, but he is even better live
I happened across Bruce at the Artists Quarter one night, and I was totally blown away. This CD does not do him justice when he actually performs, but still has many cool interpretations and originals done his way.
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Michael Anthony

Great Voice should be with a major label
Cd is uplifting with great song selection and lilling vocals and instrumentalist. Highy recommend
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PAULA BENSON

LOVED HIS VERSION OF AFRO BLUE
The music for Afro Blue was very well done. This cd has sentimental songs and some nice uptempo songs. Once I got it I played it for hours. It would be nice to hear some of these songs live.
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Jeff Allen

"Connections" connects on many levels.
The tracks Africa Cries and Moon seem to come from the artist's soul. Red Clay and Darker Brother stay with you long after this CD stops spinning. Bruce A. Henry is a musician who is loyal to his roots.
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