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This past year, rumors of Joe Henderson’s death flooded the internet. Luckily, those rumors were unfounded. While Henderson was taking some time off from performing, his compositions weren’t. Alto saxophonist Jim Snidero assembled a New York post-bop sextet to showcase the now familiar music, like Henderson’s “Recorda-Me,” “Inner Urge,” and “Punjab.” Covering the now classic Henderson book by an alto saxophonist, (Joe plays tenor) is not a simple task. Fans of the revered Blue Note, Prestige and Milestone recordings know the music almost note-for-note. Snidero, up for the task, mixes thoughtful and innovative arrangements with first-class musicians. Just like a Blue Note date of old he matches a snappy rhythm section of pianist Dave Hazeltine, bassist Dennis Irwin and the ubiquitous drummer Kenny Washington with the peer respected but public under appreciated trumpeter Joe Magnarelli and trombonist Conrad Herwig. Assembling an entire record of Henderson music is a great concept. Snidero, also in the talent-deserving-more-recognition category, plays with a bright, warm tone. His playing is a fit tribute to the master of warmth.
I was first exposed to jazz while learning to play chess with my uncles. They would play smooth jazz, and then switch up to more standard types of jazz. But, when they played Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, I was
hooked and I haven't looked back.