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RH Positive by Robert Henderson

RH Factor, the newest CD release by Philadelphia based drummer Robert H. Henderson is not particularly remarkable for the music recorded. All 12 tunes (plus one second take) are well-worn standards familiar to musicians and aficionados of straight ahead jazz. What is remarkable about RH Factor is the exceptional musicianship displayed in the performance of these selections. Henderson and his sidemen are very capable musicians and they display their craft of music making in the jazz idiom in exceptionally good form.

Robert Henderson is very much in the same league with other great bop drummers such as Art Blakey and Max Roach. He demonstrates an ability to drive his ensemble with an unrelentless swinging foundation. Tenor saxophonist Larry McKenna possesses a sound that is part the breathiness of Ben Webster, part the big sound of Dexter Gordon, and part the deft of The President, Lester Young. Paul Pelusi one of the pianist on the recording date sounds particularly familiar with the style of Bill Evans, especially on the Bill Evans composition "Turn Out the Stars." Thomas Lawton, another pianist showcased on the recording, also finds a niche as a soloist and also as a very capable accompanist as well. And, not to be left out, bassist Pete Colangelo, lays down time that is solid as a rock.

Although there are very refreshing performances of well-known material on this CD, there are no surprises on this recording. A high level of musicianship is something that a listener to jazz produced by professional musicians, at a minimum, expects. Although there is nothing really new as far as compositions, the musicians on this recording also do not disappoint the listener. This recording reaffirms of the existence of great musicianship, and the continuation of that part of the jazz tradition that requires the musician to utilize "classic" pieces in the creation of something new. For the listener who appreciates fine musicianship, RH Factor will be a nice addition to a CD collection. Students of jazz should definitely procure this recording as part of their listening diet for the fine interpretations of classic standards that all should become familiar. Aside from those pluses about the recording, it is just plain great listening, and the general listener will find this CD an excellent addition to their recording collection.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Robert Henderson
  • CD Title: RH Positive
  • Genre: Straight-Ahead / Classic
  • Year Released: 2002
  • Record Label: Philly Breakdown Records
  • Rating: Four Stars
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