Three years ago this month Henderson played at Catalina’s on the threshold of a career breakthrough — the day of the release of his award-winning, jazz-chart-topping tribute to Billy Strayhorn, “Lush Life” (Verve).
So, had anything changed in the way Henderson presented himself at Catalina’s this time out? Not a thing.
His music was tough, uncompromising, a bit left-of-the-mainstream and certainly more turbulent and abstract than his recent albums. It was as if he was making a statement to his audience: “I’ve been here all along; where in blazes have you been?”
From the opening number “Isfahan” onward, Henderson was all over the tenor sax, weaving eclectic bits of jazz history into his scattershot flurries, all stamped with his own distinctive veiled tone.
Commercial success hasn’t watered down Henderson’s live music one iota. Score one for integrity.