Joe Henderson (april 24, 1937-June 30, 2001) was an American jazz musician and composer, best known as a tenor saxophonist. He was born in Lima, Ohio, and studied music at the Kentucky State College and Wayne State University. His career as a musician began in Detroit.


[hide]*Youth 1


Joe Henderson grew up in a large family with five sisters and nine brothers. His parents and his older brother James encouraged him to study music. His earliest musical interest went out to drumspianosaxophone and composition. He was particularly fond of the plates collection of his brother. So he became acquainted with Lester YoungFlip PhillipsStan GetzLee KonitzCharlie Parker and Jazz at the Philharmonic recordings.

Early career[Edit]Edit

On his eighteenth year, mid-1950s, he was part of the jazz scene of Detroit. He taught himself double bass and flute play and continued to develop his skill as saxophone player and composer. On the 'Wayne State University he surprised his music teachers with his bladder technique and perfect tone control. The hundreds of hours listen and reenact of Lester Young solos had their paid off. Will no doubt also his classmates Yusef LateefBarry Harris and Donald Byrd have given him additional inspiration.

First recordings[Edit]Edit

After two years of military service (1960-1962) he learned on arriving in New York trumpeter Kenny Dorham , which helped him further with his musical career. Although in its earliest recordings a strong hard-bop influence, as can be heard on the album Pete la Roca 's Basra from 1965 to be heard, included his game except bebop other styles such as R & BLatin and avant-garde. Soon as he got the chance to join the Orchestra to play Horace Silver 's. The influential solo on the hit Song for My Father is his. He left Horace Silver in 1966 and became a freelance musician. He also led an orchestra together with Kenny Dorham. Of his packages from that period are no recordings made to Joe Henderson Big Band (Verve) was released in 1996. Its commitment with Blue Note was a very fruitful collaboration: much as 30 albums were published between 1963 and 1968. The recordings were very diverse: from hard-bopsessies to avant-garde experiments. He pressed his stamp on important albums: on the song Song for My Father with Horace Silver, on the Prisoner, the dark album by Herbie Hancock, and Andrew Hills avant-garde albums Black Fire and Point of Departure. In 1967 we find him on the side of Miles Davis in his famous quintet with Herbie HancockWayne ShorterRon Carter and Tony Williams. Recordings are not preserved, but Joe Henderson stole allegedly often the show. Years later would Hendersons adaptability and eclecticism even more to the fore.

The Milestone-years[Edit]Edit

Signed Joe Henderson In 1967 for the young Milestone-record company. This meant the start of a new phase in his career. Along with Freddie Hubbard , he led the Jazz Communicators from 1967 to 1968.Henderson also appeared in Hancock's Fat Albert Rotunda. At that time began to experiment with increasingly avant-garde structures, jazz-funk fusion, studio overdubbing, and other electronic effects. Song and album titles like Power To the PeopleIn Pursuit of Blackness, and Black Narcissus reflected his growing political awareness and social commitment. This notwithstanding the last album named after the "Powell and Pressburger film" of 1947.

Own interpretations and composition work[Edit]Edit

After a brief collaboration with Blood, Sweat & Tears Henderson moved to San Francisco in 1971 and began teaching. He also toured and made recordings, but gave up at that time not so much appreciation of the jazz public. He also occasionally worked with Echoes of an Erathe Griffith Park Band and Chick Corea but mostly in the 1980s, he was a conductor and composer. As talented and prolific composer, he began to focus more on new interpretations of jazz standards and his own earlier works. Blue Note tried it in 1986 to the forefront of the jazz scene by the double album State of the Tenor. On this album played a trio that would get the same attention as tenor saxophonists Sonny Rollins the their came along in 1957. With Ron Carter on bass and Al Foster on drums would build a fixed repertoire during the next seven Henderson, eight years.Ask Me Now became their most famous ballad.

The Verve-years[Edit]Edit

Early in the 1990s, sent Henderson his career back suddenly in a different direction when he signed for Verve . The approach of this Songbook-label with Hendersons recordings, along with a sophisticated marketing and promotion campaign brought Joe finally on the foreground in jazz circles. Joe Henderson joked In an interview that he now had to take a financial advisor, while he used his accounts couldn't even pay ... Joe Henderson had long wait for recognition, but during his last years, he still allowed the pleasure of flavors to a star. He died on 30 June 2001 from complications of lung disease.


Henderson may have been so sultry tenor saxophone sound like Stan Getz and Lester Young, but other times he sounds again as bluesy as t-Bone Walker or as intense as John Coltrane. In an interview forDownbeat magazine in 1993 be he himself on the influence that literature had on his game: "I'm trying to create musical ideas in the same way as writers create images with words. When I hear you play solos commas, colons and quotation mark just like in a text. " With this complex, fraserende way of playing as a saxophonist Joe Henderson created his own voice, with its rich vocabulary to phrases, saxophone licks and effects.

Discography (selection)[Edit]Edit

  • Joe Henderson: Our Thing (1963)
  • Joe Henderson: Page One (1963)
  • Joe Henderson: Inner Urge (1964)
  • Joe Henderson: In 'n Out ' (1964)
  • Joe Henderson: Mode For Joe (1966)
  • Joe Henderson: Kicker (1967)
  • Joe Henderson: Tetragon (1968)
  • Joe Henderson: Joe Henderson In Japan (1972)
  • Joe Henderson: The Elements (1973)
  • Joe Henderson: Canyon Lady (1973)
  • Joe Henderson: Relaxin' At Camarillo (1980)
  • Joe Henderson: ' State Of The Tenor (1985)
  • Joe Henderson: Lush Life: The Music Of Billy Strayhorn (1992)
  • Joe Henderson: So Near, So Far (Musings For Miles) (1993)
  • Chick Corea/Roy Haynes/Joe Henderson/Gary Peacock: Live In Montreux (1994)
  • Joe Henderson: Milestone Years (1994) Box Set
  • Joe Henderson: The Music Of Antonio Carlos Jobim (1995)
  • Joe Henderson: Big Band (1996)
  • Joe Henderson/Wynton Kelly Trio: Straight, No Chaser (1996)
  • Joe Henderson: Multiple (1996)
  • Joe Henderson: Porgy & Bess (1997)
  • Joe Henderson: Ballads And Blues (1997)
  • Joe Henderson: In Pursuit Of Blackness/Black Is The Color (1999)
  • Joe Henderson: Power To The People (2001)

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