Following in the vein of many of Conrad Herwig's previous releases, including 1996's Latin Side of John Coltrane and 2008's Latin Side of Wayne Shorter, 2014's Latin Side of Joe Henderson finds the trombonist performing live at the Blue Note in N.Y.C. as he leads his group through a set of Henderson originals done in a Latin style. As with all of Herwig's other Latin-infused projects, Latin Side of Joe Henderson features a superb ensemble who are well equipped to delve headlong into these adventurous, high-energy arrangements. Featured alongside Herwig here are such luminaries as tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano, trumpeter Alex Sipiagin, baritone saxophonist Ronnie Cuber, pianist Bill O'Connell (who also contributes some arrangements), percussionist Richie Flores, drummer Robby Ameen, and bassist Ruben Rodriguez. An adept improviser and arranger, Herwig never fails to bring something new to even the most well-worn jazz standard, and Latin Side of Joe Henderson is no exception. To these ends, we get a bright, languid, and funky version of "Recorda Me," a fluid, harmonically layered take on "Afro-centric," and an inspired reworking the Henderson classic, "Blue Bossa." Ultimately, Latin Side of Joe Henderson is both a loving homage and a visceral, in-the-moment live concert.
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AllMusic Review by Matt Collar