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Eddie Henderson: Reemergence

C. Andrew Hovan By

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Considering that he's approaching his 60th birthday, you'd think that trumpeter Eddie Henderson would be better known than what he is. But of course we also have to take into consideration that there are actually two Eddies- the jazz musician and Dr. Henderson the practicing psychiatrist. Yet despite his dual activities and the limitations of a 24-hour day, the jazz trumpeter in Henderson has matured into a distinctive stylists who has taken as much from the '70s period of jazz fusion as he has from the acoustic mainstream tradition.

Henderson's work with saxophonist Billy Harper during the past decade or so has had a profound impact on his own efforts. Like Harper, he tells stories that take the listener on a journey and Reemergence finds him taking solo after magnificent solo, each one a concise and cogent example of his commanding improvising skills. Henderson's sound is burnished and bold, rich from the bottom end to the upper-register calls that are his trademark. The material he has chosen is a satisfying mix of bop standards, Henderson originals and a substantial suite of choice Gershwin standards.

Along for the ride is a very supportive ensemble that happens to have been together as a working group for some time. The blend between Henderson's trumpet and Joe Locke's vibes is sonorous and pleasing. In addition, pianist Kevin Hays, bassist Ed Howard, and drummer Billy Drummond make for a rhythm section capable of empathetic and stirring support. So does Henderson possess talent deserving of wider recognition? You better believe it!


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