Joe Henderson: Take the 'A' Train


Take the 'A' Train


Joe Henderson (tenor sax)


Lush Life: The Music of Billy Strayhorn (Verve 314-511-779-2)

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Joe Henderson (tenor sax), Gregory Hutchinson (drums).

Composed by Billy Strayhorn


Recorded: Englewood Cliffs, NJ, September 3, 6, 8 1991


Rating: 87/100 (learn more)

Joe Henderson's melodic tenor sax shines brilliantly in a duet setting. He has certainly performed several such over the years, and creates a seamless flow of musical expressions in this format, especially when spurred on by talented younger players. On this well-worn Ellington/Strayhorn standard, two musicians, their ages separated by nearly 30 years, form a magical partnership, with elder statesman Henderson propelled by a young but sensitive drummer. The tune's instant familiarity allows the listener to easily follow their explorations and even anticipate their direction. Hutchinson, for his part, plays brilliantly behind Henderson, making the listener aware of his thoughts but never upstaging the tenor journeyman. Taking an economical approach to a staple for the big bands of yesteryear, this duo proves surprisingly lively and enjoyable. Respect for the man, respect for the music is very obvious in this fine performance.

Reviewer: Ralph A. Miriello

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