February 1, 2015

Joe Henderson - In 'N Out (1964)

There's a whole lot of energy packed into the middle Joe Henderson-Blue Note release and most of that can be credited to Elvin Jones, who was playing like God in 1964. McCoy Tyner doesn't really change up his style from what he was doing with Coltrane at the time, and you can hear that on his first solo. He locks in with the rest of the rhythm section and it makes for one very expressive backup.

Joe Henderson surprisingly handles these guys well, and proves that he was no Coltrane imitation; demonstrates that he has his own creative force, even when using that famous rhythm section. He puts his strong tone together with a fiery and contagious energy and he takes a couple of fun rides with Elvin Jones. Kenny Dorham, Henderson's familiar trumpet partner, counters the aggressive sound set in place by Jones and Henderson with is breathy, warm tone, but he still keeps the album moving in that collected, yet chaotic direction. He's a good change in listening scenery from Lee Morgan and Freddie Hubbard and it's impressive that he stepped this far out into the 'new thing in jazz' after his role as a founding father of hard bop. Richard Davis is my favorite jazz bassist along with Cecil McBee and Jimmy Garrison. He's confident, surefooted, and knows how to stealthily jump around and support whatever needs help at the moment. With Tyner as direct of a pianist he is, Davis is needed to glue this thing together himself, and not just anybody can get these musicians sounding right.


In 'N Out