The TRUE State of the Tenor, October 11, 2000
This album is one of the greatest saxophone/jazz/MUSIC albums ever made, simply catching Joe Henderson, Charlie Haden & Al Foster in concert one day in Italy 1987. This was a one-off concert, was done with no rehearsal, and the result documents what jazz can be when it is at it's best.
Joe's amazing sense of architecture, his original harmonic approach, his funkiness, ability to go in & out as well as his overwhelming originality and depth of emotion is at full display here. He is simply one of the greatest saxplayers ever! And Charlie Haden & Al Foster are themselves delivering truly inspiring performances.
From a technical perspective the album is not a "slick" production, like some of the later Verve albums. However, this one really captures Joe Henderson's great tone on his instrument, and the bass sound is also well recorded. The drum sound is probably not quite what it should be, but Al Foster plays so great it makes you forget.
John Scofield has called this album his "bible". When you listen to it you'll know why! It is up there with anything John Coltrane or Sonny Rollins has done.
Fun And Enjoyable, September 23, 2000
Reviewer: Michael B Richman (see more about me) from Portland, Maine USA
Joe Henderson's "The Standard Joe" is a fun and enjoyable album all the same. Captured in a trio setting with Rufus Reid on bass and Al Foster on drums, Joe tackles some of his compositions that have become standards over the years, and some of the great standards of jazz. Three decades later it is delightful to hear him revisit some of his best Blue Note material from the 60s in "Blue Bossa" (originally on "Page One"), "Blues In F" (which is actually the title track from "In N' Out"), and "Inner Urge" (originally from the album of the same name). Of course, a standard album wouldn't be a standard album without some true classics, and Joe's versions of "Body And Soul," "'Round Midnight" and "Take The A Train" are first rate, even if they don't add anything new to the dialogue. A few years after this album's release, Henderson would have a renaissance with "Lush Life," only fitting for a jazzman who has been making consistently intelligent music for nearly forty years.
AN EVENING WITH