The great bop trumpeter, Fats Navarro, used to tell his friends that the ill-starred Ernie Henry was the only other altoist beside Bird who had something different, something very much worth having. Born in Brooklyn in 1926, Henry took up violin at eight and alto at twelve and was discovered by Tadd Dameron, who asked him to join his band at the Famous Door in 1947.
He left Dameron after a year to play with Fats Navarro, Dizzy Gillespies big band and the groups of Charlie Ventura, Max Roach, Georgie Auld and Kenny Dorham. During his later, second stint in Gillespies band (1956-57) his work was brilliant, often spectacular. It wasnt to last. His life was suddenly cut short on December 29, 1957, after Gillespies band finished its Saturday night stint at Sugar Hill on Newark, NJ.
Before his death he had been playing in and around New York, appearing for a while with the Charlie Mingus group and proving himself to be an altoist of exceptional promise. On these, his final recording sessions, he was clearly on the verge of finding himself musically.
01. Beauty and the Blues (Golson) 6:24
02. Autumn Leaves (Prevert-Kosma -Arr. B.Golson) 3:11
03. Melba's Tune (Liston) 2:37
04. Stablemates (Golson) 4:28
05. All the Things You Are (Kern-Hammerstein) 7:44
06. I Get a Kick Out of You (Porter) 4:34
07. My Ideal (Chase-Whiting) 2:41
08. I've Got the World on a String (Arlen-Koehler) 6:28
09. Sweet Lorraine (Burwell-Parish) 4:57
10. Soon (G. & I. Gershwin) 5:56
11. Lover Man (Davis-Sherman-Ramirez) 2:38
12. Specific Gravity (Henry) 6:34
13. Like Someone In Love (Burke-Van Heusen) 5:13
14. Like Someone In Love (Burke-Van Heusen) 4:36 (*) Alternate Take
Tracks #1-3,5,14 from the Riverside album "Ernie Henry - Last Chorus" (RLP 12-266)
Tracks #6-13 from the Riverside album "Seven Standards and A Blues" (RLP 12-248)
Tracks #1-4: Ernie Henry Octet
Lee Morgan (trumpet), Melba Liston (trombone), Ernie Henry (alto sax), Benny Golson (tenor sax), Cecil Payne (baritone sax), Wynton Kelly (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), Philly Joe Jones (drums).
Track #5: Ernie Henry Quintet
Lee Morgan (trumpet), Ernie Henry (alto sax), Wynton Kelly (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), Philly Joe Jones (drums).
Tracks #6-14: Ernie Henry Quartet
Ernie Henry (alto sax), Wynton Kelly (piano), Wilbur Ware (bass), Philly Joe Jones (drums).
All tracks recorded at Reeves Sound Studios, in New York City, on September 23 (#1-5) & 30 (#6-14), 1957
Original recordings produced by Orrin Keepnews
This CD release produced by Jordi Pujol
The original Riverside LP Ernie Henry: Last Chorus, was produced shortly after Ernie Henrys dead. This album was specially rewarding because it featured an unreleased octet session Henry had recorded as a leader, and which has been fully compiled for the first time on this CDincluding the tune, Stablemates, from the same session but never issued on LP. The rest of the LP was filled with miscellaneous material coming from other albums, which with the exception of an alternate take of Like Someone In Love, are not part of this CD. The detailed explanation of each tune not included here, is in the original liner notes included in the booklet.
Track #4: Original Jazz Classics added this version as a bonus track on their CD release (OJCCD1792-2) of the classic Riverside 12" LP "Philly Joe Jones - Drums around the World" (RLP 12-302), thinking it was an alternate take of the same tune, included on te original album. The truth is it was an unreleased track from the Ernie Henry September 23, 1957 session.