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So Near, So Far (Musings for Miles)

Joe Henderson

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Album Review

Joe Henderson's follow-up to his hugely successful Lush Life disc is another concept album, this time involving ten songs (including many lesser-known ones) associated with Miles Davis. Henderson only actually played with Davis for a few weekends around 1967 but he shows a great deal of understanding for this potentially difficult music. With particularly strong assistance from guitarist John Scofield, bassist Dave Holland and drummer Al Foster, Henderson revives such forgotten songs as "Teo," "Swing Spring" and "Side Car" in addition to coming up with fresh interpretations of "Miles Ahead," "Milestones" and "No Blues." He is to be congratulated for not taking the easy way out and sticking to the simpler material of Davis's earlier years.

Customer Reviews


As a guitarist, I must admit getting this album primarily for John Scofield's killin' playing - in fact I think it's some of Sco's best work. But all four of these guys - each of whom did time with Miles - dig in on this disc. Miles wouldn't have it any other way . . .

Best tribute

This is the best of Henderson's tribute records, which also include the one for Strayhorn and the one for Jobim. The others are excellent, but here the whole band is in supernatural form; Sco has some of his best solos captured on record. The way that Scofield is able to make up such a big part of the sound of this album is amazing; Henderson knew he could leave a lot of the effort to Sco and Holland--he just lets them have it, and adds his own voice impeccably to the affair. Long been one of my very favorite recordings.


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...
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