"Mirrors" is a ballad composition by a different Joe, drummer / pianist Joe Chambers (age 21). As Chambers was also very familiar with the vibraphone, he was able to compose the perfect ballad for Bobby Hutcherson, with a beautiful, lyrical mood, haunting melody, and with intriguing chord changes. Henderson's short solo here is gorgeously understated, almost sub-tone.
The album's title tune "The Kicker", an innovative, uptempo modified blues, and a Joe Henderson original, has it's debut (although not the definitive version) here. The classic version was recorded almost ten months later (with Henderson as a recently recruited member of the Horace Silver Quintet), on Silver's classic album "Song For My Father".
Another Henderson original, the medium bounce, Basie-style blues "Step Lightly" is, at 14 plus minutes, the longest track on the album. Pearson, Hutcherson, Green & Henderson all say their piece with funky eloquence.
"Bedouin", the date's only Duke Pearson original, is a unique tune, recorded again about a year later on Pearson's own date, which produced the album "Wahoo", featuring Henderson and Cranshaw, as well. It gets more of an medium-up treatment here than on the "Wahoo" date, which to my ears is the superior version.
Nevertheless, this is a great album, as every tune here is enjoyable and worthy of study. If you ain't got it, get it!
Anyway, you "got it" on YouTube. Here's most of it.
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