Saxophoniste ténor américain, Joe Henderson a enregistré de nombreux albums pour d'importants labels dont Blue note. Sa technique sans faille, son lyrisme, son timbre unique et ses talents de compositeur en ont fait une légende du jazz.
American tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson has recorded numerous albums for major labels including Blue Note. His flawless technique, lyricism, unique tone and compositional skills have made him a jazz legend.
Joe Henderson was born on 24 April 1937 in Lima, Ohio, into a family of fifteen children. He began playing the saxophone at the age of eight, encouraged by his older brother who was a great admirer of Lester Young.
He first attended the University of Kentucky, then moved to Detroit in 1956 to attend Wayne University. He then played in the city's clubs alongside fellow students Yusef Lateef and Donald Byrd, before setting up his first band in 1959.
From 1960 to 1962, he joined the US Army, where he led several bands on tour in Europe. Shortly after his military service, he met trumpeter Kenny Dorham who invited him to join his quintet and with whom he recorded the album Una Mas for the Blue Note label. Over the course of the decade, he appeared on many of the label's releases, both as a sideman and as a leader. His first album as a leader, Page One, remains one of the most critically acclaimed. During this period he collaborated with Horace Silver, Andrew Hill, Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, and briefly joined Miles Davis' band. His style evolved between post-bop, fusion and avant-garde. In 1971, he played for a few months in the jazz-rock group Blood, Sweat and Tears before moving to California where he began teaching.
After a few years of silence, he returned in 1985 with The State of the Tenor. Recorded in November at the Village Vanguard, this live double-album was critically acclaimed.
In 1991, he signed a contract with the Verve label, marking a turning point in his career. In the years that followed, he recorded ten albums for which he won several awards. The first album in the series, Lush Life (1992), was a great commercial success and propelled Joe Henderson to the forefront of the music scene and an international career.
He retired at the end of the decade for health reasons. Joe Henderson, who died in 2001, is considered one of the greatest jazz saxophonists. He mainly played a Mark VI tenor saxophone with a Soloist mouthpiece.
Photo credits: - Brian McMillen - Sue Storey