November 2006

AAJ Staff By

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Eddie Henderson showed that he is among the most creative trumpeters in jazz today, turning in a typically impressive set at Smoke (Oct. 6th) with his excellent quartet. Bassist Ed Howard, soon to be joined by pianist Dave Kikoski and drummer Billy Drummond, played a short intro to Wayne Shorter's "Masqualero to open the second set, before Henderson entered dramatically with an atmospheric sound recalling his early days with Herbie Hancock, the band's energy level gradually rising to full throttle before resolving to Kikoski's romantic variations on the theme and a surprising finish. Henderson moved to flugelhorn for a beautiful reading of "The Summer Knows , his mellifluous sound contrasting nicely with Kikoski's dark harmonics and occasional dissonances. On "Little B's Poem the trumpeter's muted horn danced melodically around Bobby Hutcherson's bright waltzing line. Drummond opened up energetically behind Kikoski's imaginative solo and painted subtle textures under Howard before Henderson returned to take the melody out, his reverberating sound filling the room. The group returned to the Wayne Shorter songbook for a Latinish take on his "El Gaucho , Henderson playing with a ringing, rhythmic attack on flugelhorn and Kikoski demonstrating a two-fisted virtuosity at the piano as Howard and Drummond drove them powerfully. The set concluded with a moving reading of Henderson's mysterious-sounding "Dark Shadows .

Jazz at Lincoln Center's Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra (ALJO) with Arturo O'Farrill celebrated the music of maestro Bebo Valdés with a spectacular concert at Rose Hall (Oct. 14th). The music began with Valdés alone at the piano playing a piece that demonstrated his deep roots in jazz, European classical and Cuban music, as well as his virtuosic two-handed technique. He was joined on the second number by bassist John Benitez, guitarist Edgardo Miranda, conguero Tony Rosa, timbalero Rickard Valdés and Mike Mossman, who played muted trumpet on a composition that moved from melodic romanticism to enlivened dance rhythms. The group was then augmented by ALJO members Bobby Porcelli on alto sax, Luis Bonilla on trombone, Vince Cherico on drums and Jimmy Delgado on bongos and bell for an old fashioned descarga (Cuban jam session) on selections from Valdés' El Solar de Bebo. O'Farrill spelled the master briefly on a Valdés composition dedicated to his wife, "Rosemarie , before the pianist returned to end the first half with the exciting "Baracutey . After intermission an augmented Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra took the stage and Valdés conducted the formidable ensemble through his "Suite Cubana , a magnificent work that moved through a variety of rhythms from mambo and son to guaracha and guajira. The concert ended with a standing ovation from the packed house, followed by an impromptu singing of "Happy Birthday for the beaming 88-year-old Valdés.

~ Russ Musto

Recommended New Listening:

· Gil Goldstein - Under Rousseau's Moon (Half Note)

· Mark Helias and Open Loose - Atomic Clock (Radio Legs)

· Hugh Marsh - Hugmars (Cool Papa Records)

· Luis Perdomo - Awareness (RKM)

· Michele Rosewoman - The In Side Out (Advance Dance Discs)

· John Taylor - Angel of the Presence (CAMJazz)

~ David Adler, NY@Night Columnist

· Michael Bisio/Tomas Ulrich - Pulling Strings (CIMP)

· François Carrier/Dewey Redman/ Michel Donato/Ron Seguin/Michel Lambert - Open Spaces (Spool Music)

· Frank Hewitt - Fresh From The Cooler (Smalls)

· Microscopic Septet - Seven Men in Neckties, Vol.One & Two (Cuneiform)

· Ben Riley's Monk Legacy Septet - Memories of T (Concord)

· Paul Rutherford/Torsten Müller/ Harris Eisenstadt - The Zone (Konnex)

~ Laurence Donohue-Greene, Managing Editor, AllAboutJazz-New York

· Anthony Braxton - 4 Compositions (Ulrichsberg) 2005 (Leo Records)

· Kali Z. Fasteau/Kidd Jordan/ Michael TA Thompson - People of the Ninth (Flying Note)

· Brian Groder and Sam Rivers Trio - Torque (Latham Records)

· Alan Skidmore/Mike Osborne/John Surman - SOS (Ogun)

· Talat - The Growl (Tzadik)

· Vandermark 5 - A Discontinuous Line (Atavistic)

~ Bruce Gallanter, Proprietor, Downtown Music Gallery


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