Oct 26, 2010
2010 is looking like the year of Dr. Eddie Henderson. The great trumpet player, who turns 70 years old today, has already made a striking guest appearance as a sideman on Azar Lawrence’s Mystic Journey, and been an integral part of The Cookers, a “super group” of players including Billy Harper, George Cables, David Weiss, Cecil McBee and Billy Hart, which released the exceptional Warriors CD.
Now comes For All We Know, his first CD as a bandleader in three years. Henderson, who carries on Miles Davis’ sense of timing and sound, has wisely put together a quartet including Davis alum (and jam jazz star) John Scofield on guitar, with great results. On Fats Waller’s “Jitterbug Waltz”, the pair lock together at times, with a melodic, flowing result. “Be Cool” (written by Henderson’s wife Natsuko) allows Scofield to show his lyrical side, while still swinging along. The rhythm section of Doug Weiss (bass) and Billy Drummond (drums) isn’t called on to carry any great weight in these recordings, but they contribute a subtle and dynamic bottom to the music. While the cover of Herbie Hancock’s “Cantaloupe Island” seems unnecessary, the plaintive “Missing Miles” is an elegant elegy for the Prince of Darkness.
Henderson is in complete control here, not only delivering memorable solos on trumpet and flugelhorn, but also writing two songs, producing and mixing the album. Here’s hoping that this septuagenarian keeps his creative juices flowing well into his next decade.