Henderson was one of Herwig's heroes, mentors and close friends. Herwig's Blue Note shows were advertised as "The Latin Side of Joe Henderson." With Flores onboard, it was difficult not to put on a rhythmically enthralling show, Latin style.
This "Latin Side" touch has become a trademark for Herwig; indeed, the trombonist has been reinventing landmark albums by "Latinizing" them. His "Latin Side" recordings include The Latin Side of Herbie Hancock (2010), The Latin Side of Wayne Shorter (2008), Sketches of Spain y Mas (2006), Another Kind of Blue (2004), and The Latin Side of John Coltrane (1996), all on the HalfNote label.
Herwig is known for his collaborations with trumpeters Miles Davis
Catching the second set on Wednesday evening, July 25, the band was getting ready to record on the weekend. Herwig thus mentioned that they were playing a longer set than usual: a wonderful idea. "We are rehearsing for record day," the trombonist explained, and the audience forgave him completely.
Herwig also talked about his friend, trumpeter/flugelhornist Clark Terry
, who is now 92 years old and with whom the trombonist has performed. He quoted Terry, saying, "It's not a jazz show if you don't play a blues." For that very reason, Herwig also decided to play one of Joe Henderson's blues.
The solos from each instrumentalist were impressive, as well as the quality and originality of each tune. The band played "Afrocentric," a tune from Henderson's Power to the People (Milestone, 1969), which featured bassist Ron Carter
. "We hope you like this version," Herwig declared.
Herwig described Henderson as a brilliant and most sweet man, who spoke Spanish, Japanese, German and Russian. As Herwig explained, Henderson "was a genius."
The show was not only a great "rehearsal" for the musicians, who created a special intimate atmosphere onstageusing the Blue Note as a sort of recording studiobut it was also moving. While paying tribute to Henderson, Herwig not only reclaimed a daunting musical tradition by honoring the spirit of the late saxophonist, but he also celebrated friendshipand, in this case, a special kind of friendship: a musical one.
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