Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this music junkie as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. Compact Discs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no files.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Joe Henderson - Mode For Joe (1966)

Note: the CD I listened to was the UK import 2003 Rudy Van Gelder Edition with a bonus track.

I'm not the biggest fan of Joe Henderson's playing, but I'm certainly a fan of the remainder of the band - in particular Lee Morgan, Bobby Hutcherson, and Ron Carter - plus the tunes here are well-written. While I don't like the album as much as the critics, it is still an enjoyable, worthwhile hard bop disc for me.

Original album liner notes by Leonard Feather.

Henderson - tenor saxophone
Lee Morgan - trumpet
Curtis Fuller - trombone
Bobby Hutcherson - vibes
Cedar Walton - piano
Ron Carter - bass
Joe Chambers - drums

  • Downbeat (★★★★): "Henderson is out on his own now; this record proves he is ready."
  • The Penguin Guide to Jazz (5th ed., 2000): ★★★½
  • The Rolling Stone Jazz & Blues Album Guide (1999): ★★★★
  • The Virgin Encyclopedia of Jazz (1999): ★★★

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: Did not chart

Tracks: My favorite cut today is the title track which is described in label press as "the standout of the set, a modal masterpiece where the leader summons one of his most transcendent and visceral solo statements." And don't sleep on the stellar solo turns from Hutcherson, Fuller, then Carter. Also track 3, Black, with great solos from Morgan and Walton. I like the Latin groove of Caribbean Fire Dance, but I think it has the least enjoyable soloing.

Bonus track: An alternate take of track 3, Black.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: None

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