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Henderson at the Helm.,
This review is from: Boxed Set 4CD Page One/Our Thing/In'n'Out/Made for Joe (Audio CD)
Joe Henderson hails from Lima, Ohio with early experience on piano, drums as well as saxophone. He made over 30 recordings for the Blue Note label, five as leader. Four are represented in this value for money boxed 4CD set with full details. Sound is excellent.
PAGE ONE: June 63. His first date as leader. With Kenny Dorham(t),McCoy Tyner(p),Butch Warren(b) and Pete LaRoca (d). Henderson had been likened to Coltrane but he had a strikingly individualistic style. This record is still one of the most popular of this Blue Note era. 'Blue Bossa', written by Dorham, is a broody number with a fine Dorham line and a flowing solo by the leader. Henderson could play ballads in a haunting way whether with a soft or caustic tone as with Dorham's 'La Mesha' where his choruses progressively become uninhibited with long invigorating phrases. Tyner's support and solos are top-notch. 'Recorda Me' was written by Henderson shortly after he left school and has been much recorded and mimicked. Bossa Nova rhythm with hard bop Henderson taking the lead. 'Homestretch' is another hard bop piece. Henderson's playing is full of power with ideas bouncing between him and Dorham. The rhythm section is superb throughout, especially Tyner who is enterprising as well as master of the understatement.
'OUR THING':Sept.63.With Dorham(t),Andrew Hill(p),Eddie Khan(b),Pete LaRoca(d).Henderson wrote two numbers and Dorham three. Their compositions are full of variations within the thematic structures supported by the free-flowing rhythm section. Dorham is suitably busy on both 'Teeter Totter' takes, concise in the brevity of his input to 'Pedro's Time' and attacks with panache on 'Back Road'. Henderson flexes his muscular tone on his solos on 'Teeters', showing his creative artistry on 'Black Road' and 'Escapade'. Andrew Hill is predictably unpredictable with his excursions off the track challenging the other quintet members. Khan's bass lines are full-bodied and La Roca makes everything swingingly easy.
IN 'N OUT:April 64. Dorham(t), Tyner(p), Richard Davis(b),Elvin Jones(d). Tremendous hard bop with elements of the New Thing. Henderson and Dorham had by this time formed a mutual understanding in their relationship and compositional abilities. The masculine flurry of lines by Henderson delivered with a rawness on 'In 'N Out' is more haunting on 'Punjab', exemplifying what an exciting tenor saxophonist he was with more to come. Dorham also has a sound and style of his own, often laid back,provides incisive, thoughtful solos and support throughout. Davis, Jones and Tyner are a formidable force motoring the group relentlessly.
MODE FOR JOE:Jan.66. Lee Morgan(t),Curtis Fuller(tb),Bobby Hutcherson(vib),Cedar Walton(p),Ron Carter(b),Joe Chambers(d). Henderson in a septet setting. The ensemble work is tightly arranged. The experienced side-men provide room for Henderson to deliver outstanding attacks on Walton's 'A Shade of Jade' and 'Black'. Morgan is refreshing and uplifting, Chambers and Carter drive the show on at a cracking pace allowing the soloists to take their spots to show their talents Fuller is a welcome addition. Hard bop at its best, creative with a hang on the 'traditional' roots with free-form beginning to breakout.
Joe Henderson providing as good an example of where Blue Note and jazz were at this time. Well worth the money and endless enjoyment.