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I agree with Late, Our Thing is an absolute must. Hill does some wonderful things underneath the front line.

Maybe I missed mention of it, but the live The Standard Joe on Red Records is a gotta have, too. I think it’s even a cut above Blue Note’s State Of the Tenor.


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I love Joe's Milestone box, nearly as much as his Blue Note work.

At least for me, when it comes to Joe, it's all good!!!!  :wub:  :g  :wub:  :g  :wub:  :g  :wub:  :g  :party:

But seriously, can anybody point out an album where they think Joe seriously misfired???

I haven't found one yet, and I think I'm up to having heard (and owning) nearly 80% of the man's entire recorded output, sideman dates included.  (Maybe closer to 85%.)

You might not like the context (for instance the Milestone years), I'll grant you that - but if you listen specifically to Joe - I don't think he ever fell below a 7 or 8 on a 10 scale.  Not too many other jazz musicians I can think of with track records like that, with careers that span nearly 40 years.

Hard to find an example where Joe is out of form, Rooster. He is so damned consistent. Definitely one of my favorite tenors also.

Moose: Really you can't go wrong anywhere with Joe Henderson. One other session no one has mentioned yet is full of beauty is JOE HENDERSON BIG BAND on Verve, I think. Great cd. One of my favorites. :wub::tup:tup Big band sound with Chick Corea on piano. Beautiful tunes like "Step Lightly," "Serenity," "Black Narcissus."


If there are any that I am only lukewarm about it would be his later sessions where he played Miles Davis' tunes with Scofield, and his tribute to Billy Strayhorn. They're ok, but not the best Joe Henderson.

Joe Henderson came from the small town of Lima, Ohio which is only about 45 minutes from Toledo. Another local product along with Art Tatum and John Hendricks. :rlol RIP Joe! We love you!

Edited by connoisseur series500
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Must put in a word for Joe's work on 'Delightfulee' by Lee Morgan. There are a couple of smoking quintet tracks on this album which burn as well as 'The Melting Pot' from the 'Blue Spirit' album.

Also thumbs up for 'The Prisoner' by Herbie Hancock. Joe's tenor work on this album is typically workmanlike and inspired. If there's one thing he always imparted on albums with which he was involved it was 'value added'.

All time greatest from Joe for me must be his work on 'The Sidewinder'. His contribution should receive due credit for making this such a landmark BN album...

I saw Joe just the once, in a small club with quartet backing just before the public started to take notice. The thing that stands out is the unique, rounded sound and almost foggy he got out of that old sax he was playing (maybe this was the instrument he used on 'Our Thing' and other BN sessions - the lacquer was quite worn?) Truly distinctive sound, instantly identifiable. I can still recall that fantastic solo he put in on 'Recorde Me' that night. Phenomenal ! :rsmile:

Edited by sidewinder
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I relistened to the master take of "Teeter Totter" from Our Thing yesterday, because I thought my description of it above was kind of lacking. I said it was a model of grace, forward motion, and individuality. For what it's worth (if anything, and no one but myself asked me to explain), let me try to clarify:

• "Grace." Uh? I actually wouldn't normally think of that word when I think of Joe Henderson. Paul Desmond, or maybe even Harry Carney, yes, but probably not Joe. What I meant was that each note of the solo is clearly articulated, and this requires a graceful collaboration between tonguing and fingerwork.

• "Forward motion." Well, not always. Joe, to me, is really a riff-based player, often stringing together sophisticated licks (or riffs) to form a well-knit whole. But this solo ("Teeter Totter") is more than riffs-strung-together. As Sonny Rollins has been noted for thematic development, I think Joe might be the master of motivic development. Whereas Newk plays themes that occur and reoccur (with and without variation) throughout a solo, I hear Joe as using motifs, which I would describe as shorter "themes," which he then adjusts slightly if he decides to play them again. Rather than just repeating a lick (which Joe sometimes does do, especially descending whole tone runs), here he modifies or inverts a lick if he's going to repeat it, and I find this to move a solo "forward."

• "Individuality." Maybe I came close on this one. I think this solo is one of the best examples of Joe's identity as an improviser. It's what marks him (besides tone) as different from the dominant tenors of his time (and I'm thinking mainly of Coltrane, Rollins, and Shorter here).

Well, that feels a little better. Thanks for indulging my transgressions!

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Holy shazz-ittski!

A cuppla decades late, I finally pick up on Joe's BARCELONA (Enja)


Great, GREAT side, although those of you who prefer your Joe on the decidedly "in" side might want to tread lightly.

This date shows, to me anyway, why Joe is (I refuse to say "was") beloved by tenor players everywhere - his tone here is just incredibly rich and full, and his command of the horn's "traditional" and "extended" techniques are total and (seemingly ;) ) effortless. If you play the tenor and love the tenor, you just GOT to love Joe Henderson, and this is one of his most "tenor-centric" recordings. Loosely structured (when it's structured at all), the natural interplay between the trio of Joe and the relatively "unknowns" Wayne Darling and Ed Soph is a gas to hear. Soph, btw, is currently on faculty here at UNT and is playing really, REALLY well these days. Attention should be paid...

BARCELONA is a side I kinda passed on and over back in the day. I already had lots of Joe, and the choice of rhythm section kinda made me shrug and move on. My bad on all counts, but I will say that one of the joys of leaving things behind for another day is that when that day finally comes, often enough the rewards are SCH-WEEEEEEET, and BARCELONA is sweet indeed.

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Side note: One of the best shows I ever saw at North Texas was when Bill Evans (tenor) was brought in for a day (evening) to play with the faculty. This was '89, and he and Soph had an extended tenor-drums duo. It must have been totally unscripted, because Evans, on the stage, gestured to the other guys on the gig that he wanted just to play with Soph. (Just one tune, and toward the end of the set.) The other guys nodded, and walked off the stage. Soph ripped it up, and I had a whole new appreciation for Evans' abilities after that. The guy can play.

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Well, I did think of one other Joe release, and it's the only one that's ever left me cold. -_-


AMG: Porgy and Bess

It's not that Joe's playing is bad, but I just never could get into this disc, no matter how hard I tried. I think I traded it back a couple years after I got it - I'd have to look. In any case, this is the one Joe Henderson disc I haven't cared all that much for.

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