Eddie Henderson brings his working group to the British-based Sirocco label for Oasis, a rewarding straight-ahead effort. The desert theme is established on the very first track, "Dubai," an enchanting seven/four piece by Billy Drummond, the session's formidable drummer. Henderson follows this with two desert-related originals, "Oasis" and "Sandstorm," a ballad and an all-out swinger, respectively; his modal, quasi-epic "Desert Sun" concludes the program. In between are compelling versions of Wayne Shorter's fairly obscure waltz "Lost," Herbie Hancock's oft-sampled (and here, heavily reharmonized) classic "Cantaloupe Island," Lee Morgan's 1964 ballad "Melancholee," and George Cables' mellow yet funky "Why Not." Pianist Kevin Hays, one of the album's chief assets, contributes the spacious and meditative "Siddhartha," featuring Henderson's only muted performance. Vibraphonist (and producer) Joe Locke and bassist Ed Howard round out the quintet.
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AllMusic Review by David R. Adler