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02 October 2010


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It's good to see Strayhorn get his due recognition especially since a considerable amount of the standard/classic jazz repertoire is from his pen. I wonder if there's a jazz piece more performed than his "Take the A Train" which every high school jazz band and every lounge pianist plays? Perhaps "Lush Life" another Strayhorn composition performed by every singer from sublime enchantresses like Dee Dee Bridgewater to hotel bar torch singers.

I couldn't help but immediately compare the Rapp/Braden recording to Joe Henderson's "Lush Life," and I found the comparison illuminating. Strayhorn's work is so strong that it allows for both Henderson's faithful, intimate homage and Braden/Rapp's inventive interpretation without losing any of its essential integrity. It's no wonder Strayhorn is so integral to jazz and like the air we breathe so taken for granted as to be almost invisible. With their adventuruous take which ranges ranges far afield from the originals, Braden and Rapp make "Strays" a little more visible.


"...Strayhorn is so integral to jazz and like the air we breathe so taken for granted as to be almost invisible."

Yes, indeed. Very nicely put.

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