Larry Vuckovich

Reunion With Jon Hendricks

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This set can easily be divided in two. Six of the 14 selections feature the vocals of the great Jon Hendricks. Hendricks' voice was past its prime by the time he recorded these numbers with pianist Larry Vuckovich in 2001, but his mind and creative powers were still very sharp. Particularly notable are his versions of "Shorty Indigo" (trumpeter Harold "Shorty" Baker's recorded solo on "Mood Indigo") and "Bye Bye Blackbird." The latter has Hendricks singing his vocalese to Miles Davis' recorded solo before scatting a few choruses of his own. Some of the Hendricks tracks feature the tenors and other reeds of Noel Jewkes and Jules Broussard, who are also prominent on many of the other numbers. Trumpeter Allen Smith helps out on two songs, guitarist Josh Workman takes several solos, and six numbers have Latin percussionist John Santos and occasionally one other percussionist. Vuckovich, who takes "Yesterdays" as an unaccompanied piano solo, is in excellent form throughout this swing-oriented date. An added plus is bassist Nat Johnson's excellent vocal on "The Shadow of Your Smile." Recommended.

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