Eddie_henderson-so_what_span3
July/August 2003

Eddie Henderson
So What
Eighty-Eights/Columbia

When a CD is called So What and the track list includes "Prince of Darkness," "All Blues" and "'Round Midnight," it's not hard to see where it's headed. Eddie Henderson's tribute to Miles Davis replicates the Davis quintets with John Coltrane and Wayne Shorter, and does so skillfully. The trumpeter has Davis' sound and stylistic mannerisms down cold. While one might prefer to hear the real Eddie Henderson stand out more often, as he does on "Footprints" and "'Round Midnight," the quality of the music is first-rate. Tenor saxophonist Bob Berg made some of his best recordings, including this one, toward the end of his life. This was a perfect gig for him, evoking his tenor idols.

The rhythm section of pianist David Kikoski, bassist Ed Howard and drummer Victor Lewis is solidly in the Davis early-to-mid-'60s groove. Billy Hart assumes the drum chair on four of the nine tracks. The drummers and Kikoski provide a number of the album's most stirring moments. Kikoski's solo on "Footprints" is a prime example. The CD is a nice trip through familiar territory, with enough individuality to keep it interesting.

Originally published in July/August 2003
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