New York Times
By JON PARELES
Published: January 2, 2014
The time machine was set on shuffle for Henry Butler with Steven Bernstein and the Hot 9 on Wednesday night at Jazz Standard, where they are performing together through Sunday. Their collaboration is both historically aware and fully prepared to cut loose.
Mr. Butler and the Hot 9 played vintage New Orleans repertory — Jelly Roll Morton’s “Wolverine Blues” and “Buddy Bolden’s Blues” (with a field-holler moan of a vocal from Mr. Butler) and Fats Waller’s “Viper’s Drag” — along with Mr. Butler’s own “Dixie Walker” and “Henry’s Boogie.” Both Mr. Bernstein’s arrangements and Mr. Butler’s playing exulted in a prismatic hindsight. The introduction to “Viper’s Drag,” for instance, linked its modal riff to both Ellington’s jungle bands and Coltrane’s modal jazz before heading for a more old-fashioned big-band bounce; Mr. Butler’s solo held ragtime, two-handed tremolos and breakneck lines played in octaves.