Double Rainbow

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Joe Henderson
LABELS: Verve
ALBUM TITLE: Joe Henderson
WORKS: Double Rainbow
PERFORMER: Henderson (ts) + Suite One: Eliane Elias (p); Oscar Castro-Neves (g); Nico Assumpção (b); Paulo Braga (d); Suite Two: Herbie Hancock (p); Christian McBride (b); Jack DeJohnette (d)
CATALOGUE NO: 527 222-2

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Like his previous two highly acclaimed Verve recordings, this is a tribute album, applying Joe Henderson’s tenor to the music of the late Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Jobim. Long interested in South American rhythms – the first tune he wrote, ‘Recorda-Me’, was reset to a Latin beat when he heard Jobim – Henderson has added fresh interest to the album by splitting its twelve tunes between a Brazilian band (in a suite entitled ‘Joe/Braz/ Jobim’) and a freewheeling US jazz group (‘Joe/Jazz/Jobim’).

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The result not only showcases the gentler side of Henderson, whose hard-edged but warm, caressing tone is a delight throughout, but also provides a fascinating insight into the material’s susceptibility to sharpen contrasting interpretations. The neat, compact Brazilian band elicits compressed, diamond-like performances from Henderson; the looser US band allows him to stretch out. In both modes, however, he proves that he is out of the most elegant, cultured and assured saxophonists on the current jazz scene. Chris Parker