“Collective Portrait” is much more than just the title of Eddie Henderson’s new CD. For Henderson, it’s the heart and soul of the remarkable trumpet master’s entire approach to music expression. Taking a cue from Miles Davis’ statement that “a collective portrait is better than a self-portrait,” Henderson has assembled a stellar cast of musicians to create music forged with the classic qualities of synergy and empathy essential for jazz at its highest level. Reuniting with pianist George Cables and alto saxophonist Gary Bartz—musical collaborators for nearly 40 years—along with the perfectly simpatico bass and drums tandem of Doug Weiss and Carl Allen, the disc embodies the creative spirit and adventurousness that is always the primary goal of all of Henderson’s musical endeavors.
Legendary alto saxophonist and Charles Mingus alum Charles McPherson teams up with Colorado cats Keith Oxman, Chip Stephens, Ken Walker and Todd Reid for his latest outing, “The Journey.” The recording features three originals by McPherson as well as two originals from tenor man Oxman and one from pianist Stephens. The rest of the date has bop-infused standards from Richard Rodgers, Sammy Cahn and Charlie Parker. McPherson calls the date, “fruitful and joyous” and the tunes “a great representation of the collective spirit and vitality of this group.”
Also this week, Texas-based guitarist Chris Cortez offers up an eclectic mix of standards, a few originals and a few re-imagined pop tunes in the jazz tradition on “Top Secret!”; drummer Robert Jospe releases a double CD with his new band the Robert Jospe Express in both trio and quartet settings for “Doin’ It Up”; and veteran flutist Sam Most recorded and finished his final project, “New Jazz Standards,” just one month prior to his passing in June of 2013.