Legendary Trumpeter Eddie Henderson
Explores the Many Facets of Musical Vision
on Masterful New Recording, Be Cool
Available May 4 on Smoke Sessions Records
Before he walks out the door on his way to a gig, 77-year-old trumpeter Eddie Henderson always gets two words of advice from his wife: be cool. The legendary trumpeter has taken that mantra to heart, and on Be Cool, his new release on Smoke Sessions Records, he shows just how hot cool can get.
Of course, if you're going to be cool it helps to surround yourself with the coolest of the cool, and Henderson has done just that: his smokin' quintet also features saxophonist Donald Harrison, pianist Kenny Barron, bassist Essiet Essiet, and drummer Mike Clark. Together, the band conjures smoldering funk, lush ballads, broad-shouldered swing, and bristling bop -- in all, a prismatic display of the many facets of cool.
"Personally, it's about playing with people who love each other and share a good chemistry."
"For me, 'be cool' means compose yourself and don't act jagged, musically or personally," Henderson offers. "One connotation is to not play so erratically, to push the envelope to the edge but not go over. It's like going fishing: if you're not prepared when you throw your line out there, you might catch Jaws instead of a minnow. Personally, it's about playing with people who love each other and share a good chemistry."
That's undoubtedly the case with the group Henderson has convened for his second Smoke Sessions outing as a leader. His relationship with Barron stretches back more than three decades, to the early days following his return to New York in the mid-'80s after a decade spent practicing medicine in San Francisco. He's been working regularly with Clark in recent years, especially in the Wolff & Clark Expedition, the drummers co-led band with pianist Michael Wolff. But they also share roots in the fusion bands of Herbie Hancock -- Henderson with Mwandishi and Clark immediately after with Headhunters. Essiet, meanwhile, has been a constant in Henderson's recent bands, while he's shared stages with Harrison under the auspices of the super-group The Cookers.
"Be Cool" was produced by Paul Stache and Damon Smith and recorded live in New York at Sear Sound's Studio C on a Sear-Avalon custom console at 96KHz/24bit and mixed to ½" analog tape using a Studer mastering deck. Available in audiophile HD format.
Eddie Henderson · Be Cool
Smoke Sessions Records · Release Date: May 4, 2018
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