Eddie Henderson: The Doctor is In

Ken Dryden By

Sign in to view read count
Now in his late 60s, Eddie Henderson was at one time torn between medicine and jazz; he completed training to be a psychiatrist but chose a performing career. The trumpeter has gone back and forth between fusion and various forms of bop, though he seems to be leaning more toward post-bop in recent years.

The Leaders
Spirits Alike
Double Moon

The Leaders was an occasional all-star gathering during the '80s-90s that featured trumpeter Lester Bowie, tenor/soprano saxophonist Chico Freeman, alto saxophonist Arthur Blythe, pianist Kirk Lightsey, bassist Cecil McBee and drummer Don Moye. Henderson has replaced the late Bowie for Spirits Alike, while Bobby Watson, pianist Fred Harris and drummer Billy Hart join Freeman and McBee. The new band has more of a post-bop flavor, though it still ventures into avant-garde jazz. All but Henderson contribute originals to the session, though there's a spirit of co-operation throughout the session that often makes it seem like a working band. Freeman is the dominant personality, penning five of the ten songs and doubling effectively on tenor and soprano with Watson and Henderson also shining in the solo spotlight. McBee's pensive "Consequence features Henderson's powerful muted horn, while Hart wrote the equally tense "Lullaby For Imka , showcasing Watson's vocal-like alto effectively.

Eddie Henderson Project
Precious Moment
Kind of Blue

Henderson's mostly ballad date Precious Moment blends post-bop with a slight touch of fusion. Pianist Kevin Hays (who doubles on keyboards at times), bassist Ed Howard and drummer Billy Hart offer solid accompaniment. With Hays providing an insistent vamp on electric piano, Henderson plays the haunting melody of Larry Willis' "To Wisdom the Prize but recasts it as a feature for Hart. The impressionist take of "Blue in Green doesn't mimic the version from Kind of Blue as Henderson takes a different direction, even though he also plays with a mute like Davis, while Hays' introspective solo is respectful of Bill Evans without sounding rehashed. The leader's wife Natsuko penned two lyrical works to showcase his rich flugelhorn, "Around the World in 3/4 and the title track ballad. The pop ballad "Unforgettable is generally associated with Nat King Cole but it is every bit as lyrical without vocals, with Henderson's effective use of space and lush held notes on the larger horn for effect. Two interpretations of Wayne Shorter work very well, though the Christmas Carol "Silent Night seems like a misfit with its synthesizer and plodding rhythm.

Tracks and Personnel

Spirits Alike

Tracks: Deep Pockets; Evolution; Spirits Alike; Consequence; The Ascended One; Remembering Bob C Vol. 1; Lullaby for Imka; Lady Bugg; Alas Poor John; Remembering Bob C Vol. 2.

Personnel: Chico Freeman: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Bobby Watson: alto saxophone; Eddie Henderson: trumpet; Fred Harris: piano; Cecil McBee: bass; Billy Hart: drums.

Precious Moment

Tracks: To Wisdom The Prize; Blue In Green; Around The World In 3/4; Precious Moment; Dear Old Stockholm; Unforgettable; Dance Cadaverous; Wild Flower; Silent Night.

Personnel: Eddie Henderson: trumpet and flugelhorn; Kevin Hays: piano, synthesizer, Fender Rhodes; Ed Howard: bass; Billy Hart: drums.


comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Pianist as Director: Ryuichi Sakamoto and August Rosenbaum Multiple Reviews The Pianist as Director: Ryuichi Sakamoto and August...
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 13, 2017
Read A Sense of Place Multiple Reviews A Sense of Place
by Geno Thackara
Published: October 12, 2017
Read David Murray Octets on Black Saint Multiple Reviews David Murray Octets on Black Saint
by Patrick Burnette
Published: October 11, 2017
Read New and Notable Releases Multiple Reviews New and Notable Releases
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 4, 2017
Read Real World Records' Vinyl Reissues Multiple Reviews Real World Records' Vinyl Reissues
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: September 16, 2017
Read The Narell Brothers: Steelpan Music Merchants Multiple Reviews The Narell Brothers: Steelpan Music Merchants
by Nigel Campbell
Published: September 9, 2017
Read "Sven-Åke Johansson's Blue For A Moment" Multiple Reviews Sven-Åke Johansson's Blue For A Moment
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 2, 2017
Read "Margrete Grarup: Denmark's jazz secret is out" Multiple Reviews Margrete Grarup: Denmark's jazz secret is out
by Chris Mosey
Published: May 28, 2017
Read "Blue Side of Lonesome: Country Crooners on BGO" Multiple Reviews Blue Side of Lonesome: Country Crooners on BGO
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 23, 2016
Read "Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas" Multiple Reviews Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas
by Doug Collette
Published: January 14, 2017
Read "Clouds and Stormy Nights: A New Pair from QFTF" Multiple Reviews Clouds and Stormy Nights: A New Pair from QFTF
by Geno Thackara
Published: December 19, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.