Eddie Henderson: So What (2003)
The program of nine tunes includes Miles' two most famous compositions (the title track and "All Blues"); two by Shorter ("Prince of Darkness" and "Footprints"), two by Monk ("Round Midnight" and "Well You Needn't"); and three standards: two ballads Davis frequently performed ("Someday My Prince Will Come" and "Old Folks") and the ever-swinging "On Green Dolphin Street." Henderson, a fearless improviser whose sound can be either ethereal and enigmatic or exuberant and extroverted, dominates the proceedings without overshadowing the other members of the quintet’s considerable contributions.
Like Miles, he gives his sidemen plenty of space to express themselves and all rise to the occasion, particularly Kikoski, whose affection for Hancock and his predecessors Bill Evans and Wynton Kelly is dazzlingly displayed in one original improvisation after another. Berg's dark brooding tenor, heard on several tracks, impressively exhibits what Davis heard in him for many years. The unit reproduces the sound of the ‘60s quintet, but asserts each member's own personality while recreating the original compositions, with varying degrees of faithfulness, in their own image – thereby clearly demonstrating the difference between imitation and inspiration.
This review originally appeared in AllAboutJazz-New York .
Track Listing: 1. Prince of Darkness (Shorter) - 5:38 2. On Green Dolphin Street (Kaper/Washington) - 6:42 3. Footprints (Shorter) - 8:13 4. Well, You Needn't (Monk) - 4:02 5. So What (Davis) - 6:18 6. Old Folks (Hill/Robison) - 6:34 7. Someday My Prince Will Come (Churchill/Morey) - 4:48 8. All Blues (Davis) - 7:04 9. 'Round Midnight (Haninghen/Monk/Williams) - 7:13
Personnel: Bob Berg - tenor sax; Billy Hart - drums; Eddie Henderson - trumpet, flugelhorn; Dave Kikoski - piano; Victor Lewis - drums; Ed Howard - bass.
Record Label: Eighty-Eights