Joe Henderson: 'Round Midnight
Joe Henderson (tenor sax)
Joe Henderson In Japan (OJCCD-1040-2)
Joe Henderson (tenor sax),
Hideo Ichikawa (electric piano), Kunimitsu Inaba (bass), Motohiko Hino (drums).
Composed by Thelonious Monk.
Recorded: live at The Junk Club, Tokyo, Japan, August 4, 1971
Rating: 92/100 (learn more)
In the early '70s, Joe Henderson had Monk's most celebrated tune at least semi-regularly in his live rotation, as evidenced by its inclusion in At the Lighthouse, recorded almost a year earlier. This time, however, there's no trumpet player, and Henderson allows himself to stretch more.
And stretch he does. Starting the song unaccompanied, he combines trills with trips to the altissimo register, playing coyly and summoning up Coleman Hawkins. Never in this a cappella performance does he lose track of the melodic line. As the local backing players enter three minutes later, Henderson glides right into the groove. Hino is playing with an ear close to what the leader is doing, and Inaba is rock solid. Ichikawa doesn't shrink from the challenge of following Henderson, bringing much humanness to his electric piano.
Joe Henderson could spin magic no matter what he played, where he played, or with whom he played.
Reviewer: S. Victor Aaron