The Complete Joe Henderson Blue Note Studio Sessions (5 CDs)

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The Limited Edition Box set includes:

  • The set includes six album releases including four sessions with Joe Henderson as a leader and two sessions as a co-leader with Kenny Dorham. As a bonus we’ve also included five tracks by other leaders with Joe  Henderson as a sideman where his compositions were introduced for the first time.
  • In creating this testament to Joe Henderson, Mosaic echoed something we did last year with our sold-out Hank Mobley set. We went back to Rudy Van Gelder’s original analog tapes and made new transfers with the highest-possible bit rate and today’s best A to D converters.The sound far surpasses any earlier CDs, removing any trace of muddiness, and rivals the original LPs in warmth, range and sound. This is as close to being in the studio listening to the original masters as one can get.
  • The dates include fellow musicians Herbie Hancock, Butch Warren, Tony Williams, McCoy Tyner, Pete LaRoca, Andrew Hill, Elvin Jones, Tommy Flanagan,  Grant Green, Bobby Hutcherson, Woody Shaw, Lee Morgan, Curtis Fuller, Cedar Walton, Ron Carter, and Joe Chambers.
  • Bob Blumenthal has been a recognized authority on hard bop in general and the Blue Note sound in particular for over 40 years. He applies his insightful talents to Joe Henderson’s story with detailed emphasis on the sessions included in this set.

One of the Most Distinctive Voices in Sixties Jazz
Finally Gets His Due

When you get your copy of Mosaic’s new five-CD collector’s set, “The Complete Joe Henderson Blue Note Studio Sessions,” you’ll be holding a master key to unlocking 1960s jazz.

That’s a big statement. But when you consider how much was happening from 1963 to 1966, the years covered by this collection, and contemplate how many different looks he provided through that time period, you can’t ignore his significance as a saxophonist and as someone central to the music’s development.

In fact, not long ago, one critic compiled a list of the Top 50 Blue Note albums of all time. Joe Henderson led two: “Page One” and “Mode for Joe.” Those contributions are here, as are two dates led by Kenny Dorham, including Henderson’s massive debut with the label, and Henderson’s three other dates, “Our Thing,” “Inner Urge,” and “In ‘N Out.” Because space allowed us, we have included five performances of compositions by Henderson and performed on sessions with Johnny Coles, Blue Mitchell, Bobby Hutcherson, Larry Young, and Horace Silver.

Short span, lasting legacy

Evaluating Henderson’s gift on tenor inevitably raises comparisons with his contemporaries John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, and Wayne Shorter. And what sets Henderson apart from the others might be his accessibility. No one could touch Coltrane’s harmonic depth bordering on spirituality. Rollins’ lusty, colossal power. Or the otherworldly compositional idiosyncrasies of Shorter. But Henderson’s playing made the musicians who came after him feel as though he had paved a path they could follow.

As for us listeners, Henderson expressed everything he wanted by always playing the tune. Control and tranquility on ballads like “Serenity.” Burningly feverish on “In ‘N Out.” Playful and offbeat on the Monk-like “Isotope.” He was reliably explosive when playing hard bop, fresh and disarming when he chose to play more free, soulful and familiar delving into things with a more Latin tinge. In his field of view and arms embrace were musicians hewing to sensitive and respectful interpretations, as well as players whose instincts were to the extremes of rhythm, register, tempo, and emotion. There isn’t just one box where Joe Henderson landed.

And there was another aspect to his playing. Not only had you never heard what he was doing before. Because of his devotion to spontaneous invention, you would never hear it again.

Music all around him

Joe Henderson was one of 15 children in a family from Lima, Ohio that prized music education. His came from an older brother’s record collection, from idolizing Stan Getz at the beginning of his tutelage and later Charlie Parker, and from the traveling soul bands that he could go to hear. Showing early promise, he wrote charts for his high school band before studying at Kentucky State College and Wayne State University, where jazz was king.

After a stint in the army he shot to New York and was quickly embraced by trumpeter Kenny Dorham. Dorham described a party Henderson attended where the two met, apparently moments after Henderson arrived in the city, the way Dorham told the story. They left to hear Dexter Gordon at Birdland, but before the evening was out, Henderson was on the bandstand himself and everyone in the joint was in his thrall.

Henderson established himself quickly, first alongside the older Dorham, later with Horace Silver and others. From the start, he soloing was distinctive, but also appropriate to the tune. He compared himself to an actor interpreting a playwright’s vision – the song and the writer established the intent. His job was secondary.

As an ensemble player, he was the ultimate listener. Inevitably, his solos began as a commentary or reflection of the solo before his. He might start quite humbly, building in intensity, evolving a run that, despite rhythmic byways, harmonic leaps, and occasional flurries of impossibly quick notes, felt highly developed and coherent, as though he had chosen to make his statement the last word.

Classic recordings with superb musicians

In addition to the numbers mentioned, the Mosaic box set includes such classics as “Sao Paolo” and “Una Mas (One More Time)” with Kenny Dorham; Henderson’s “Blue Bossa” from the “Page One” LP; “Step Lightly” from the Blue Mitchell album of the same name; his work with Horace Silver on “Cape Verdean Blues;” and Henderson’s own “Inner Urge,” recorded at a time when the young saxophonist was feeling the pressure of carving his cultural destiny in the New York rock.

The dates include fellow musicians Herbie Hancock, Butch Warren, Tony Williams, McCoy Tyner, Pete LaRoca, Andrew Hill, Eddie Kahn, Richard Davis, Elvin Jones, Tommy Flanagan, Albert Heath, Bob Cranshaw, Leo Wright, Duke Pearson, Walter Perkins, Gene Taylor, Roy Brooks, Grant Green, Bobby Hutcherson, Al Harewood, Woody Shaw, J.J. Johnson, Roger Humphries, Lee Morgan, Curtis Fuller, Cedar Walton, Ron Carter, and Joe Chambers.

Stunning sound reproduction

In creating this monument to Joe Henderson, Mosaic echoed something we did last year with our sold-out Hank Mobley set. We went back to Rudy Van Gelder’s original analog tapes and made new transfers with the highest-possible bit rate and today’s best A to D converters.

The sound far surpasses any earlier CDs, removing any trace of muddiness, and rivals the original LPs in warmth, range and sound. This is as close to being in the studio listening to the original masters as one can get.

On five CDs, you’ll find 47 tunes including 3 previously unissued on either LP or CD. Our deluxe, exclusive booklet includes an essay and track-by-track analysis by Bob Blumenthal, and many rare photographs.

As with all Mosaic sets, our reissue is extremely limited, and once all are sold, will not be available ever again in this form. With everything Joe Henderson could do and the many listeners he delighted, we know this series will be gone soon. Please reserve yours now.

Producer’s note:
Joe Henderson literally exploded onto the jazz scene in 1963 thanks to mentor Kenny Dorham and the support of Blue Note Records. Joe and K.D. collaborated on five exceptional albums in 1963-64 trading leadership and sharing all other responsibilities.

Joe stepped out with his quartet gem “Inner Urge” in November of ’64. 14 months later, he made his final Blue Note album “Mode For Joe” and then he was suddenly gone from the Blue Note roster.

When I started thinking about a Mosaic boxed set of Joe’s Blue Note output as leader and co-leader, I was astounded that it only came to four and a half discs. Including Joe’s originals where he performed as a sideman and that he had not yet recorded himself completes the set.

But his contribution to the label between 1963 and 1967 was so expansive and ubiquitous thanks to the 20 sideman appearances he made for the label during those years – all of unerring quality, startling innovation and amazing range.

Consider his artistry on Grant Green’s “Idle Moments,” Andrew Hill’s “Black Fire” and “Point Of Departure,” Lee Morgan’s “The Sidewinder,” Freddie Roach’s “Brown Sugar,” Pete LaRoca’s “Basra,” Horace Silver’s “Song For My Father,” Larry Young’s “Unity” and McCoy Tyner’s “The Real McCoy” to name just nine influential masterpieces.

Even in those heady times, I cannot think of a musician of more impact and breadth in those years. – Michael Cuscuna

Audio Clips

Sample Session Notes

Homestretch
June 3, 1963

Barely two months later, after one fairly incidental appearance as a sideman (on Grant Green’s Am I Blue), Henderson was leading his own Blue Note date.  The results were so successful that the label decided to place Una Mas on hold for several months and make Page One the wide world’s introduction to the dapper, nonchalant cover subject Francis Wolff caught leaning against a wall at Lincoln Center while balancing his saxophone case between knuckles and shoe heel.  Joe Henderson already had the look of a major figure, a notion advanced by the music contained in his “debut.”

Page One confirmed that the distinctive blend of Dorham and Henderson projected a sonic personality of unique and appealing character, as expressive and identifiable in its way as the ones Dorham struck with Hank Mobley in the Jazz Messengers and with Sonny Rollins in the recording studio and the Max Roach group.  Better still, Page One revealed that Henderson the composer matched the trumpeter’s skill for indelible melodies and quietly challenging structures.  Dorham’s enthusiasm for his onetime prodigy and now partner was articulated in the trumpeter’s liner notes for the initial release, which concluded by declaring Henderson “one of the most musical young saxophonists to show since Charlie Parker.”

Each of the sessions that Dorham and Henderson shared feature excellent rhythm sections.  In this edition, Warren is a holdover from Una Mas, while pianist McCoy Tyner and drummer Pete La Roca were young stars who had gained early exposure on the label and would go on to become Blue Note leaders.

Dorham called “Homestretch,” the first of four Henderson originals, a “blues line of the type which jazz men play when coming off the stand, concluding a set or evening,” and it was indeed the final piece recorded at the session.  Tyner begins with a brisk pair of choruses before a double statement of the theme.  Henderson can reel off runs when he chooses, but also inserts spacing that leaves room for La Roca’s support.  Dorham’s solo contains a nod to one of Miles Davis’ favorite licks as well some of his own patented “running” at its conclusion.  After Tyner’s second spot, tenor sax and drums trade fours with increasing intensity, with La Roca sounding as if he expected to get another break when the chorus returns. – Bob Blumenthal

The Complete Joe Henderson Blue Note Studio Sessions (5 CDs)
Discography

Disc One:
1.Una Mas (One More Time) (A) 15:15
(Kenny Dorham)
2. Straight Ahead (A) 8:55
(Kenny Dorham)
3. Sao Paulo (A) 7:15
(Kenny Dorham)
4. If Ever I Would Leave You (A) 5:05
(F. Loewe-A. J. Lerner)
5. Blue Bossa (B) 7:55
(Kenny Dorham)
6. La Mesha (B) 9:05
(Kenny Dorham)
7. Homestretch (B) 4:10
(Joe Henderson)
8. Recorda Me (B) 5:56
(Joe Henderson)
9. Jinrikisha (B)7:20
(Joe Henderson)
10. Out Of The Night (B)7:20
(Joe Henderson)

Disc Two
1. La Mesha (alt tk) (B) 8:10
(Kenny Dorham)
2. Homestretch (alt tk) (B) 7:00
(Joe Henderson)
3. Teeter Totter (C) 8:30
(Joe Henderson)
4. Pedro’s Time (C) 10:02
(Kenny Dorham)
5. Our Thing (C) 5:35
(Joe Henderson)
6. Back Road (C) 6:18
(Kenny Dorham)
7. Escapade (C) 8:03
(Kenny Dorham)
8. Teeter Totter (alt tk) (C) 7:10
(Joe Henderson)
9. Our Thing (alt tk) (C) 5:27
(Joe Henderson)
10. In ‘N Out (alt tk) (D) 9:16
(Joe Henderson)

Disc Three:
1.In ‘N Out (D) 10:22
(Joe Henderson)
2. Punjab (D) 9:06
(Joe Henderson)
3. Serenity (D) 6:15
(Joe Henderson)
4. Short Story (D) 7:08
(Kenny Dorham)
5. Brown’s Town (D) 6:22
(Kenny Dorham)
6. Trompeta Toccata (E) 12:22
(Kenny Dorham)
7. Night Watch (E) 5:44
(Kenny Dorham)
8. Mamacita (E) 11:03
(Joe Henderson)
9. The Fox (E) 7:58
(Kenny Dorham)

Disc Four:
1.Inner Urge (F) 12:00
(Joe Henderson)
2. Isotope (F) 9:10
(Joe Henderson)
3. El Barrio (F) 7:10
(Joe Henderson)
4. You Know I Care (F) 7:15
(Duke Pearson)
5. Night And Day (F) 7:00
(Cole Porter)
6. Hobo Joe (G1)8:17
(Joe Henderson
7. Step Lightly (G2) 8:33
(Joe Henderson)
8. The Kicker (G3) 6:05
(Joe Henderson)
9. Mo’ Joe (G4) 5:45
(Joe Henderson)
10. If (G5) 6:02
(Joe Henderson)

Disc Five:
1.A Shade Of Jade (H) 7:07
(Joe Henderson)
2. Mode For Joe (H) 8:02
(Cedar Walton)
3. Black (H) 6:51
(Cedar Walton)
4. Caribbean Fire Dance (H) 6:41
(Joe Henderson)
5. Granted (H) 7:20
(Joe Henderson)
6. Free Wheelin’ (H) 6:39
(Lee Morgan)
7. Mode For Joe (alt tk) (H) 9:29
(Joe Henderson)
8. Black (alt tk) (H) 6:47
(Cedar Walton)

DISCOGRAOHY
This discography only includes the first release of each performance.

(A) KENNY DORHAM – UNA MAS
Kenny Dorham, trumpet; Joe Henderson, tenor sax; Herbie Hancock, piano; Butch Warren, bass; Tony Williams, drums.
Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, April 1, 1963

Tk. 6 Sao Paulo BST 84127
Tk. 9 Straight Ahead –
Tk. 13 Una Mas (One More Time) –
Tk. 16 If Ever I Would Leave You CD 7-46515-2

(B) JOE HENDERSON – PAGE ONE
Kenny Dorham, trumpet; Joe Henderson, tenor sax; McCoy Tyner, piano; Butch Warren, bass; Pete La Roca, drums.
Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, June 3, 1963

Tk. 6 Recorda Me BST 84140
Tk. 12 Jinrikisha –
Tk. 14 Blue Bossa –
Tk. 15 La Mesha (alt tk) previously unissued
T.k 18 La Mesha BST-84140
Tk. 20 Out Of The Night –
Tk. 22 Homestretch (alt tk) previously unissued
Tk. 25 Homestretch BST 84140

(C) JOE HENDERSON – OUR THING
Kenny Dorham, trumpet; Joe Henderson, tenor sax; Andrew Hill, piano; Eddie Kahn, bass; Pete La Roca, drums.
Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, September 9, 1963

Tk. 10 Teeter Totter (alt tk) CD 7-84152-2
Tk. 14 Our Thing BST 84152
Tk. 15 Our Thing (alt tk) previously unissued
Tk. 17 Escapade BST 84151
Tk. 23 Back Road –
Tk. 27 Pedro’s Time –
Tk. 28 Teeter Totter –

(D) JOE HENDERSON – IN ‘N OUT
Kenny Dorham, trumpet; Joe Henderson, tenor sax; McCoy Tyner, piano; Richard Davis, bass; Elvin Jones, drums.
Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, April 10, 1964

Tk. 6 Punjab BST 84166
Tk. 7 In ‘N Out (alt tk) CD 8-29156-2
Tk. 9 In ‘N Out BST 84166
Tk. 11 Short Story –
Tk. 14 Brown’s Town –
Tk. 19 Serenity –

(E) KENNY DORHAM – TROMPETA TOCCATA
Kenny Dorham, trumpet; Joe Henderson, tenor sax; Tommy Flanagan, piano; Richard Davis, bass; Albert Heath, drums.
Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, September 14, 1964

Tk. 4 The Fox BST 84181
Tk. 6 Night Watch –
Tk. 10 Trompeta Toccata –
Tk. 11 Mamacita –

(F) JOE HENDERSON – INNER URGE
Joe Henderson, tenor sax; McCoy Tyner, piano; Bob Cranshaw, bass; Elvin Jones, drums.
Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, November 30, 1964

Tk.2 Inner Urge BST 84189
Tk. 10 You Know I Care –
Tk. 15 Isotope –
Tk. 21 Night And Day –
Tk. 23 El Barrio –

(G1) JOHNNY COLES – LITTLE JOHNNY C
Johnny Coles, trumpet; Leo Wright; alto sax; Joe Henderson, tenor sax; Duke Pearson, piano; Bob Cranshaw, bass; Walter Perkins, drums.
Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, July 18, 1963

Tk. 12 Hobo Joe BST 84144

(G2) BLUE MITCHELL – STEP LIGHTLY
Blue Mitchell, trumpet; Leo Wright, alto sax; Joe Henderson, tenor sax; Herbie Hancock, piano; Gene Taylor, bass; Roy Brooks, drums.
Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, August 13, 1963

Tk. 22 Step Lightly BN LT-1082

(G3) BOBBY HUTCHERSON – THE KICKER
Joe Henderson, tenor sax; Bobby Hutcherson, vibes; Grant Green, guitar; Duke Pearson, piano; Bob Cranshaw, bass; Al Harewood. Drums.
Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, December 13, 1963

Tk. 8 The Kicker CD 5-21437-2

(G4) HORACE SILVER – THE CAPE VERDEAN BLUES
Woody Shaw, trumpet; J.J. Johnson, trombone; Joe Henderson, tenor sax; Horace Silver, piano; Bob Cranshaw, bass; Roger Humphries, drums.
Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, October 22, 1965

Tk. 22 Mo’ Joe BST 84220

(G5) LARRY YOUNG – UNITY
Woody Shaw, trumpet; Joe Henderson, tenor sax; Larry Young, organ; Elvin Jones, drums.
Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, November 10, 1965

Tk. 5 If BST 84221

(H) JOE HENDERSON – MODE FOR JOE
Lee Morgan, trumpet; Curtis Fuller, trombone; Joe Henderson, tenor sax; Bobby Hutcherson, vibes; Cedar Walton, piano; Ron Carter, bass; Joe Chambers, drums.
Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, January 27. 1966

Tk. 2 A Shade Of Jade BST 84227
Tk. 8 Caribbean Fire Dance BST 84277
Tk. 18 Granted –
Tk. 19 Mode For Joe –
Tk. 20 Mode For Joe (alt tk) CD (J) UCCQ-5120
Tk. 26 Black BST84227
Tk. 27 Black (alt tk) CD 7-84227-2
Tk. 31 Free Wheelin’ BST 84227

Album Index
LP:
Joe Henderson-Page One Blue Note BST 84140 (rel. September 1963)
Kenny Dorham-Una Mas Blue Note BST 84147 (rel. December 1963)
Johnny Coles-Little Johnny C Blue Note BST 84144 (rel. February 1964)
Joe Henderson -Our Thing Blue Note BST 84152 (rel. April 1964
Joe Henderson-In ‘N Out Blue Note BST 84166 (rel. January 1965)
Kenny Dorham-Trompeta Toccata Blue Note BST 84181 (rel. July 1965)
Joe Henderson-Inner Urge Blue Note BST 84189 (rel. March 1966)
Horace Silver-The Cape Verdean Blue Blue Note BST 84220 (rel. December 1965)
Larry Young-Unity Blue Note BST 84221 (rel. July 1966)
Joe Henderson-Mode For Joe Blue Note BST 84227 (September 1966)
Blue Mitchell-Step Lightly Blue Note LT-1082 (rel. 1980)

CD:
Kenny Dorham-Una Mas Blue Note 7-46515-2 (rel. 1987)
Joe Henderson-Mode For Joe Blue Note 7-84227-2 (rel. 1988)
Joe Henderson-Our Thing Blue Note 7-84152-2 (rel. 1989)
Joe Henderson-In ‘N Out Blue Note 8-29156-2 (rel. 1994)
Bobby Hutcherson-The Kicker Blue Note 5-21437-2 (rel. 1999)
Joe Henderson-Mode For Joe Blue Note (Japan) UCCQ-5120 (rel. 2015)

Produced for release by Michael Cuscuna
Original sessions produced by Alfred Lion
Recording engineer: Rudy Van Gelder
Mastered from hi-res files of the original analog masters by Malcolm Addey, Malcolm Addey Studio, NYC
All photographs by Francis Wolff © Mosaic Images LLC

24-bit technology was utilized at all stages of the production of this Mosaic release.

A Blue Note Records release; (p)2021 UMG Recordings, Inc. ©2021 Mosaic Records, LLC. Manufactured by Mosaic Records, LLC under license from Universal Music Enterprises, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

“Remastered to the highest standards, pressed on top-quality vinyl or CD, and sumptuously packaged, these editions are designed to please the most demanding of collectors.”

Richard Cook/Brian Morton, The Penguin Guide to Jazz