Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Joe Henderson - Lush Life: The Music of Billy Strayhorn (1992)

Joe Henderson - Tenor Sax
Wynton Marsalis - Trumpet (2, 6, 9)
Stephen Scott - Piano (2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9)
Christian McBride - Bass (1-4, 6, 8, 9)
Gregory Hutchinson - Drums (2-4, 6, 7, 9)

1. Isfahan
2. Johnny Come Lately
3. Blood Count
4. Rain Check
5. Lotus Blossom
6. A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing
7. Take The "A" Train
8. Drawing Room Blues
9. U.M.M.G. (Upper Manhattan Medical Group)
10. Lush Life

"This is a great collection of Strayhorn tunes. From the opening notes of "Isfahan", a excellent duet with bassist Christian McBride, you can tell it is something special. Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis guests on three tracks and his solos are nothing short of inspired. The core quintet are all extremely good players. There is the crisp drumming of Gregory Hutchinson throughout, especially in the fittingly locomotive-style groove he sets in his duet with Joe on "Take the 'A' Train". Christian McBride shows his maturity on this record with thoughtful solos especially the bowed solo on "Johnny Come Lately". The piano from Stephen Scott is at times swinging and tight like for the "Drawing Room Blues" and at others more experimental especially in "A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing". Of course, the standout throughout is Joe Henderson. His remarkably clear tone has plenty of warmth as well as intensity."