Henry Butler – Homeland
(High Note – 2004)
by John Thompson
It’s party time ‘yall, especially if you like the flavors of the Bayou. Pianist Henry Butler seems to be in the mood for this festive-feeling release. Accompanied by Vasti Jackson (G), Nick Daniels III (B), and Raymond Weber (D), Butler detours from classic jazz into electric boogie.
Let there be funky (Homeland, The Game Band Strut), Let there be blues (Ode to Fess, You Can’t Beat My Love, and Casino, with meaningful slide guitar), and let the good times roll (Jump to the Music, Henry’s Boogie. There are lots of vocals from Butler: some good, some…it’s up to you. Isaac Hayes’ I Stand Accused for me, was a no no.
There are references to the 60’s-70’s Bayou-area group, The Meters (Some Iko), and other New Orleans area cuisine. A band and music like this is sure to extract from the audience some happy feet. 3 stars.