Al Henderson

Urban Landscape

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Bassist Al Henderson contributed all dozen originals to his quintet date. He wisely secured the services of Alex Dean and Pat La Barbara, both of whom are versatile tenor saxophonists who are as equally comfortable on their other axes. In fact, one of the best selections, the haunting "A Continental Mood," features Dean's oboe and La Barbera's soprano. Other highlights including the driving "Strategy," the Monk-ish "Underground," and Dean's bass clarinet on "Urban Landscape." However, all dozen selections are worth hearing. The melodies are generally strong, the solos are purposeful and fairly concise, and each piece has its own personality with plenty of variety. Highly recommended.

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