A member of the celebrated Snarky Puppy, Cory Henry has been filmed and recorded at Brooklyn's Greater Temple of Praise on a mostly solo performance on the Hammond B-3, for a new album "The Revival." Henry performs mostly solo on a program of old gospel classics, rhythm and blues, jazz and soul. he is joined on the recording by drummer James Williams and his godfather, Bishop Jeffrey White, who sings on one song.
The gospel element is predominant among the songs selected for this performance opening with A simple rendition of "Lord's Prayer" where he is pulling out all the stops (pun intended) as this stately performance builds in intensity. In contrast to the sober opener, "He Has Made Me Glad (I Will Enter His Gates)," is a more spirited and ebullient performance, but both pieces illustrate his masterful use of dynamics and tone. After a sober "Precious Lord," with Williams adding some accents, Bishop Jeffrey White sings powerfully on another old gospel classic, "Old Rugged Cross." After a playful "NaaNaaNaa," with Williams on tambourine and the audience having fun singing the title track, there is a lively devotional number, "That is Why I’m Happy," followed by the fun (and audience clapping) of "If You’re Happy (and you know it)." Coltrane's "Giant Steps" opens in somewhat restrained manner but the heat builds with Henry's marvelous improvisation. After a musical deconstruction and reconstruction of "Yesterday," the performance closes with the exultation of "I Want to Be Ready."
"The Revival" is a wonderful display of Cory Henry's masterful B-3 playing, sometimes mesmerizing but always full of fervor and humor.
I received as a download from a publicist. This review originally appeared in the July-August 2016 Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 367). Here Cory Henry is performing "NaaNaaNaa."