First Blood harks back to the glory days of the '60s blues-rock boom – Mike Henderson and the Bluebloods' gritty sound is far from original, but years on the Nashville bar band circuit have honed their skills to a razor-sharp point, and the record is refreshingly raw and direct, distinguished by rock-solid musicianship.
Listening to Sketches of Life is something like finding a diamond midway through a box of Cracker Jack. It starts off with some typically easygoing midtempo quiet storm action that offers more cinders than real fire, but then it suddenly explodes with soul, jazz, and fusion – and some of the leader's finest performances this side of the old Crusaders. Henderson's trombone turbulence finds willing support from friends old (saxman Wilton Felder) and new (Rob Mullins, Dwight Sills), and these all-stars stretch the limits of the pop side of jazz. Especially impressive is Lee Oskar's bluesy, Toots Thielemans-styled harmonica playing. Henderson could do just fine without the rap and chant, but otherwise, he leads a fun-filled cruise through adventureland.
Drunvalo Melchizedek, an author from the New Age movement, has called these figures symbols of sacred geometry, asserting that they represent ancient spiritual beliefs, and that they depict fundamental aspects of space and time. Melchizedek claims that Metatron's Cube may be derived from the Flower of Life pattern, and that the Platonic solids within it were "thought to act as a template from which all life springs."