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Lush Life - The Music of Billy Strayhorn

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Editors’ Notes

In 1992, Verve threw veteran Joe Henderson in the studio with a pack of young lions and asked him to play a collection of Billy Strayhorn songs. Henderson and crew emerged with a beautiful recording that showcases Henderson's versatile tenor, the passion of the younger players, and the emotional appeal of Strayhorn's compositions. A large part of the success is owed to the strategy of mixing up the instrumentation: the album includes one solo, three duets, two trios, one quartet, and three quintets (with Wynton Marsalis's burnished trumpet), each leading Henderson in a different direction. The true highlights are the pared-down ensembles. "Isfahan," a duo with Henderson and bassist Christian McBride, finds Henderson coaxing some lovely, light-and-airy sounds from his tenor. On "Rain Check," a trio with McBride and drummer Greg Hutchinson, Henderson flies into the stratosphere with probing statements, and on "Lotus Blossom," a duet with pianist Stephen Scott, Henderson's quiet flurries are supported by Scott's elegant reading. Henderson stokes the engine with intense, far-reaching ideas on "Take the 'A' Train," a duet with Hutchinson, and teases the melody playfully on the abstract title track, taken here as a solo.

Customer Reviews

Swingin' Fun

If you enjoy fast-paced, walking bass lines, accompanied by piano and saxophone meoldies, this album will not disappoint you. To put it simply, I always seem to find my legs bouncing wildly to the rhythme with this one. And I love that feeling!

Perfect Outing by Henderson and company

In my opinion this should be up there with Kind Of Blue, Study in Brown, The Real McCoy, Giant Steps, and a few other albums that are great from downbeat to the last chord. No Alternate takes ruining the vibe, no weak points in this set at all, just good music. This is an album, not just a bunch of tunes thrown together - and highly recommended. Joe's stuff got better with age, truly... also if you like this album you need to check out Musings For Miles.


Born: April 24, 1937 in Lima, OH

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Joe Henderson is proof that jazz can sell without watering down the music; it just takes creative marketing. Although his sound and style were virtually unchanged from the mid-'60s, Joe Henderson's signing with Verve in 1992 was treated as a major news event by the label (even though he had already recorded many memorable sessions for other companies). His Verve recordings had easy-to-market themes (tributes to Billy Strayhorn, Miles Davis, and Antonio Carlos...
Full Bio
Lush Life - The Music of Billy Strayhorn, Joe Henderson
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  • $5.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Feb 18, 1992

Customer Ratings