Ernie Henry

Last Chorus

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Ernie Henry was a promising alto saxophonist who passed away prematurely on December 29, 1957, when he was only 31. He had recorded his album Seven Standards and a Blues on September 30, and four songs for an uncompleted octet date on September 23. This CD reissue has the latter tunes (which feature trumpeter Lee Morgan; trombonist Melba Liston, who contributed "Melba's Tune"; tenor saxophonist Benny Golson; and pianist Wynton Kelly), an alternate take from the Seven Standards set ("Like Someone in Love"), a leftover track from the preceding year ("Cleo's Chant"), the solos of Thelonious Monk and Henry (from the lengthy "Ba-Lue Bolivar Ba-Lues-Are"), and an alternate version of "S'posin'" taken from the altoist's final recording (a quartet outing with trumpeter Kenny Dorham). Overall, the music is fine and, surprisingly, does not have an unfinished air about it. It does make one wish that Ernie Henry had taken better care of his health, as he was just beginning to develop a sound of his own.

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