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Eddie Henderson: For All We Know

Casual listening might dismiss For All We Know as background music. It has the swing and lyrical-but-airy atmosphere of the jazz quartet at your local Sunday Brunch special, and trumpeter-leader Eddie Henderson and guitarist John Scofield, while creative, practice considerable subtlety in their work. But subversive elements are at work on this superb record, and they’re not even that far below the surface.

For starters, the rhythm section, bassist Doug Weiss and drummer Billy Drummond, cooks. Drummond’s cymbals and snare are turned up high in the mix, so that his chattering ride cymbal and bombs on “Jitterbug Waltz” and “Sand Storm” are as prominent a presence as Henderson’s lithe trumpet. Weiss isn’t quite so forthright, but he isn’t playing rote walking basslines, either; he adds a palpable slither to “Popo,” and on “By Myself” his stridence keeps pace so tightly with Drummond that the accents they strike together sound like a timpani. Theirs is a punchy pulse that is hardly music to eat eggs Florentine by.

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