Bar code: 8427328422833
Jazz is a music that eventually prizes iconoclasts, but positively reveres antecedents. Part of the game in evaluating a young player is figuring out where he or she came from, stylistically. And that's what makes Bill McHenry so pleasantly perplexing. He partakes of the lineage, certainly: As a saxophonist, he's studied Sonny Rollins and Dewey Redman, but sounds like neither. His musical presence is more circumspect; his sound is smaller, but not at all ungenerous. McHenry's compositions in some respects recall those of Thelonious Monk and Ornette Coleman, but not entirely, and not slavishly.
These sessions were originally recorded live at the New Yorks Fat Cat Jazz Club during the summer of 2005, and certainly, the quintet McHenry led is the band with which to hear him, a band that combines youthful energy with veteran experience.