Joe Henderson: Afro-Centric




Joe Henderson (tenor sax)


Power To The People (Fantasy 30130)

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Joe Henderson (tenor sax), Mike Lawrence (trumpet), Herbie Hancock (piano, keyboards), Ron Carter (bass), Tony Williams (drums).

Composed by Joe Henderson


Recorded: New York City, May 23, 1969


Rating: 99/100 (learn more)

Wow. What a recording! However, given the personnel, that shouldn't be much of a surprise. Go get a copy of Joe Henderson's Power to the People immediately, because this is some of the most important jazz ever laid down. Sure, the spirit of Miles Davis' Files de Kilimanjaro looms large here, as, at times, this cut sounds like it could easily have been included on that legendary album. The sonic links are similar; Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, and Tony Williams appear on both records, and their musical styles are easily identifiable. As usual for them, the jamming is open-ended and the improvisations are strong. Not so slight variations of chords are utilized within the structure, and, while some of the clashing between the instruments gets crazy, you could never call this music boring. With heavily overstated action recurring frequently, this music remains engaging today. The track is more melodic than most of the Miles Davis experiments from the Miles in the Sky era, and that relative tunefulness is sometimes necessary when the proceedings are so chaotically free of control and discipline.

Reviewer: Marcus Singletary


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