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The Definitive Joe Henderson

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Album Review

Tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson recorded consistently for over four decades, starting with his early-'60s Blue Note sides through the Milestone years in the '70s and (along with Dexter Gordon) as elder statesmen of jazz in the '80s and early '90s. With so much quality material to choose from, the annotators of The Definitive Joe Henderson had their work cut out for them. The massive scope encompasses reworking of Strayhorn and Jobim tunes, straddling the avant garde, especially on the Sam Rivers composition "Beatrice," and blowing hard bop with Lee Morgan, Kenny Dorham, and Curtis Fuller. As a primer for those not familiar with this material, The Definitive Joe Henderson will leave you wanting to hear more.


Born: 24 April 1937 in Lima, OH

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Joe Henderson is proof that jazz can sell without watering down the music; it just takes creative marketing. Although his sound and style were virtually unchanged from the mid-'60s, Joe Henderson's signing with Verve in 1992 was treated as a major news event by the label (even though he had already recorded many memorable sessions for other companies). His Verve recordings had easy-to-market themes (tributes to Billy Strayhorn, Miles Davis, and Antonio Carlos Jobim) and, as a result, he became a...
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