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 love jazz because it is both challenging and exhilarating, and the endeavor of improvisation is the highest form of art.
I met so many great musicians--including my two earliest heroes, Maynard Ferguson and Dizzy Gillespie--by attending concerts
and being willing to treat them with the respect they deserve.
The best show I ever attended was the Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman Song X concert at Cornell University.
The first jazz record I bought was an RCA compilation by Dizzy Gillespie.
My advice to new listeners is to not be afraid to listen to something because you're not familiar with the artists or the band or
the genre or anything - this is music that is best experienced through discovery.