January 20, 1994 |
In the past several years, the jazz marketing machinery has placed a premium on youth, sometimes promoting undercooked players with more time than talent on their side. And, then, there is the story of Joe Henderson, straight out of the better-late-than-never file. The warm and witty tenor saxophonist, now 56, has been a powerful figure and cult favorite among musicians and aficionados since he began making solo albums for the Blue Note label in the mid-1960s.
October 19, 1993 |
As many times as you may have heard the old Billy Strayhorn tune "Take the 'A' Train," you've probably never it heard quite the way tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson played it Sunday, the second and closing day of the Orange County Register Jazz & Blues Festival on the UC Irvine campus. In Henderson's hands, the old war horse, played at a breakneck speed, became a magical vehicle of expression, filled with revealing passages and strong statements of personal identity.
October 16, 1993 |
There are those who would claim that he's been there for 30 years. But today, there's no disputing that Joe Henderson sits at the top of the tenor sax heap.
May 13, 1993 |
It was Will Rogers' favorite sport. Winston Churchill's. It was an ancient Persian sport revived by the British Raj in India and played by subalterns in pith helmets and monocles on horses little better than range broncos. It used to be more popular in this country than pro football. Hockey on horseback. It was the "in" sport in Hollywood long before golf or tennis. Darryl Zanuck rode No. 1 and insisted his studio underlings take up the sport if they wanted to stay under contract.
December 7, 1992 |
The late Dexter Gordon was fond of telling audiences that playing "Body and Soul" was a moment of truth for every tenor saxophonist. And in the 53 years since Coleman Hawkins turned that sad Johnny Green dirge into his own concerto, tenors have felt challenged to take hold of the tune and project--if not define--the full measure of their personalities. Joe Henderson is no different. Some tenors can bowl you over with just their big sound.
February 20, 1992 |
Call it state-of-the-art jazz week at Catalina Bar & Grill. Joe Henderson, Charlie Haden, Eric Reed and Joe Chambers--all in one group. It just doesn't get much better than this. From the first moment of the opening set Tuesday (the engagement continues through Sunday), it was obvious that placing Henderson as headliner with three such illustrious companions would result in an event to remember.
October 11, 1990 |
Don't pin any labels on Joe Henderson. "I'm pretty much a tenor saxophone player," Henderson said. "I would like not to describe my sound. I've been influenced by so many different players--pianists, drummers, bassists--I'd like to think I can fit into any number of musical environments and you might not recognize my sound." Last night, Henderson opened five nights at Elario's in a quartet also including Tony Dumas on bass, Mike Hyman on drums and 19-year-old piano wiz Kevin Harp.
September 7, 1989 |
Put this one on your jazz calendar with a big star: Joe Henderson, Billy Childs, Tony Dumas and Roy Haynes at Catalina Bar and Grill in Hollywood--through Sunday night. When such performers as tenor saxophonist Henderson arrive in town for an impromptu gig with a local rhythm section, the results can be erratic, at best. But Tuesday's opening-night combination clicked into gear with the smooth acceleration of a Ferrari moving into the fast lane.
May 18, 1989 |
While other rising saxophone players took their cues from obvious sources--Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, sometimes Coleman Hawkins--Joe Henderson's path kept him closer to musicians who never quite received star status. This has been a blessing; his playing is more on the fringe, his influences well-hidden and richly blended. Tenor player Henderson is in town for a two-week reunion of sorts with pianist and former band mate George Cables at Elario's. Early in his career, Henderson hooked up with trumpeter Kenny Dorham, who has only recently been recognized as a significant innovator.
November 1, 1987 |
Wake Forest found out again Saturday that Death Valley is a scary place to play if you don't wear orange, but not before the Demon Deacons threw a scare into No. 14 Clemson. The Tigers relied on a pair of long touchdown runs by Joe Henderson in the final period to rally for a 31-17 victory. The victory, coupled with Maryland's 27-14 loss to North Carolina, leaves the Tigers, 7-1 overall, alone atop the Atlantic Coast Conference at 4-1. North Carolina is 3-1, and Maryland is 3-2.