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JazzTimes 10: Great Blue Note Tracks from the 1970s

Paying long-overdue tribute to the label’s most underappreciated era

10. Eddie Henderson: “Kudu” (from Heritage, 1976)
The mid-’70s found trumpeter Eddie Henderson inching away from the heady jazz fusion he helped Herbie Hancock create with Mwandishi into some of the more dance-oriented jazz he later recorded on Capitol Records. This Patrice Rushen-penned classic captures the sparkling energy of that transition. The syncopated rhythm, staccato horn riff, and Rushen’s incredible keyboards make the song sound like a lost Headhunters cut, with Henderson’s searing and smearing trumpet brilliance at the fore. Kyoto Jazz Massive delivered a blistering cover of it on 2004’s Blue Note Revisited.

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John Murph

John Murph is a Washington, D.C.-based music journalist and DJ. He’s written for numerous outlets that include JazzTimes, DownBeat, NPR Jazz, JazzWise, The Root, The Washington Post, and The Atlantic Monthly. He hosts a weekly radio program at Eaton Hotel DC.