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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joe Henderson: Mode for Joe

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Recorded and released in 1966, Mode for Joe was Joe Henderson's last session as a leader for Blue Note Records until 1985's State of the Tenor.True to form for the period, the recording features a cast of legendary players in peak form. In this case Henderson shares front line duties with a fiery Lee Morgan on trumpet and a young Bobby Hutcherson on vibes. Curtis Fuller's trombone adds low-end heft to the melodic statements. Forget that cup of coffee in the morning, just throw on “A Shade of Jade" and crank it up; the track is ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joe Henderson: In 'N Out

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Music Matters is extending its reissue run of classic Blue Note records, which has led them to tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson's 1964 session In 'N Out. His third album as a leader for the label, In 'N Out mixes aggressive hard bop with more searching ballads on its way to turning into a musically diverse, first-rate performance. The rhythm section of the opening title track has John Coltrane written all over it, and with drummer Elvin Jones and pianist McCoy Tyner in the rhythm section, it's no wonder. The double melody of Henderson and trumpeter Kenny Dorham flies ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joe Henderson: Power to the People

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Joe Henderson enjoyed widespread popularity only late in his career, when his cover albums for Verve achieved high (for jazz) sales figures, but since the early '60s he had been making excellent records, both as a sideman and a leader. Here at last is 1969's Power to the People, one of his best recordings made for Orrin Keepnews' Milestone label, previously available only as part of the boxed set The Milestone Years. Power to the People features a titanic rhythm section of Herbie Hancock (acoustic and electric piano), Ron Carter (acoustic and electric bass) and Jack DeJohnette ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joe Henderson: Power To the People

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The late sixties were an exciting time for jazz, although not a lucrative one. Faced with a declining market share due to the popularity of rock music, jazz musicians were forced to find an audience by pursuing new avenues in composition and instrumentation. Joe Henderson, a much beloved player for the Blue Note label was dropped in the late sixties. Orrin Keepnews, who certainly could recognize great talent when he saw it, signed him to his newly formed Milestone label. This 1969 release finds Henderson with a near perfect rhythm section. It features imaginative compositions that easily ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joe Henderson: Inner Urge

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This brilliant remastering of saxophonist Joe Henderson's most emotionally urgent album also raises the possibity that it is the ultimate showcase of his distinguished career. The deference to Coltrane is obvious: pianist McCoy Tyner and drummer Elvin Jones are on board on every selection, although shifting their styles to mesh with Henderson. The deference to Getz is more subtle, coming clear on Henderson's stingingly lyric ballad feature, “You Know I Care," and his melodic recasting of Cole Porter's “Night and Day." Weaving a path between Coltrane's fiery sermonizing and Getz's singable romanticism, Henderson displays a wholly individual ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joe Henderson; Kenny Dorham; Wayne Shorter: Our Thing; Whistle Stop; The All Seeing Eye

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Like all the Rudy Van Gelder Edition reissues, these three were given royal treatment in the control room. Aside from one alternate take on the Joe Henderson CD, they contain no previously unreleased material at all. The excellent sound leaps out of the speakers, eloquent testimony to the unparalleled talents of three Blue Note giants.Henderson’s Our Thing was the tenor master’s second Blue Note outing, and it documents his renowned association with Dorham, who joins him in the frontline. But perhaps even more attractive is the relatively rare sideman appearance by pianist Andrew Hill. Bassist Eddie Khan and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joe Henderson: Joe Henderson In Japan

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Certain things happen on stage in front of an audience that can’t be captured in a studio. This maxim is particularly true in the case of jazz music and this disc makes the fact abundantly clear. “Joe Henderson in Japan,” a straight forward, no-frills title that gives an indication of the artist and the place, but little more. The cover and liners are equally esoteric- the former picturing a shirtless Joe, afro in full bloom, scratching his jowl in cross-legged contemplation, the latter a brief pair of paragraphs recounting the particulars of the date. But as is the case with ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joe Henderson: In Pursuit of Blackness / Black is the Color

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Rather famously, Joe Henderson released a series of albums for Milestone in the early Seventies that courted popular acceptance in a variety of ways: most notably, he played modal proto-world music with Alice Coltrane and added an electric piano and other frou-frou to his ensembles in order to catch the fusion crowd. Nothing worked, and these albums are generally regarded as inferior both to the series of Blue Notes that preceded them and the Grand-Old-Man Verve releases of the present day.

Those assessments may be true, but it's also true that on the Milestone albums, including and perhaps particularly the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gene Ammons, Joe Henderson, Booker Ervin: Late Hour Special, Canyon Lady, The Trance

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Fantasy's Original Jazz Classics (OJC) series boasts almost 1000 titles, and the series is showing no signs of slowing down. Three recent additions to the OJC line are these excellent titles by tenor saxmen Gene Ammons, Joe Henderson and Booker Ervin.

Ammons recorded so often in the early 1960s that when he was in prison on drug charges from 1962-1969, Prestige could still assemble some LPs. One such LP was Late Hour Special, which came out in 1964 and presented two 1962 groups-one a ten-piece “little big band" effort arranged by Oliver Nelson, the other a quartet date with bassist ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joe Henderson: Porgy & Bess

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In the early 90's, Joe Henderson “reappeared" as a major star on the jazz scene with a Grammy winning tribute album to Billy Strayhorn. Since then, his new label, Verve, has released a steady stream of well received theme albums by Henderson, and the latest addition to that series is Henderson's attempt at the Gershwins' Porgy & Bess. After the fairly traditional Strayhorn tribute, Henderson enlisted the services of guitarist John Scofield for his tribute to Miles Davis. After a Jobim tribute, and a foray into big band, Henderson has teamed up with Scofield again for Porgy & Bess, enlisting ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joe Henderson: The Joe Henderson Big Band

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Throughout the 1960s, Joe Henderson was the busiest tenor saxophonist at Blue Note, releasing several outstanding albums as a leader and appearing often as a highly-regarded sideman with most of the label's talented and innovative stable of jazz artists. ( Henderson's ubiquity makes his box set The Blue Note Years probably the best available overview of the label's glory days, offering not just a sampling of his solo efforts, but takes from sessions led by Kenny Dorham, Herbie Hancock, Bobby Hutcherson, Horace Silver, Lee Morgan, Andrew Hill, Grant Green, and McCoy Tyner, among others.) An accomplished composer ...



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