2 LPs on 1 CD: IN PURSUIT OF BLACKNESS/BLACK IS THE COLOR.
Includes liner notes by Orrin Keepnews, Mitchell Feldman and Joe Henderson.
Digitally remastered by Joe Tarantino (1998, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California).
IN PURSUIT OF BLACKNESS:
Personnel: Joe Henderson (tenor saxophone); Pete Yellen (alto saxophone, flute, bass clarinet); Woody Shaw (trumpet); Curtis Fuller (trombone); George Cables (electric piano); Stanley Clarke, Ron McClure (bass); Lenny White (drums); Tony Waters (congas).
Engineers: Elvin Campbell, Bernie Grundman.
Recorded at Decca Studios, New York, New York on May 12, 1971 and live at the Lighthouse Cafe, Hermosa Beach, California on September 25 & 26, 1970. Originally released on Milestone (9034).
BLACK IS THE COLOR:
Personnel: Joe Henderson (soprano & tenor saxophones, flute, alto flute, percussion); Jack DeJohnette (electric piano, drums); George Cables (electric piano); David Horowitz (synthesizer); Georg Wadenius (guitar); David Holland (acoustic bass); Ron Carter (electric bass); Ralph McDonald, Airto Moreira (congas, percussion).
Engineer: Elvin Campbell.
Recorded at Mercury Sound Studios, New York, New York in March and April 1972. Originally released on Milestone (9040).
Recording information: 09/24/1970-04/??/1972.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Dave Holland ; George Cables; Georg "Jojje" Wadenius; Jack DeJohnette; Airto Moreira; Lenny White; Ralph MacDonald; Ron Carter ; Ron McClure; Stanley Clarke ; Woody Shaw.
This two-albums-on-one-CD set captures the tenor master at an interesting juncture, both in his own artistic development and jazz in general. The collection draws from three recording sessions, spanning 1970-72. Henderson's music honestly reflected what was happening with the different factions shaping jazz in that era: the avant garde, the blossoming of fusion and the influence of the post-bop mainstream. He also synthesizes an awareness of jazz's African roots and the growing use of electric and electronic instruments and overdubbing (which most of the mainstream jazz audience of the time thought was heresy).
The music on this album ranges from straight-ahead standards ("Invitation," with fine playing from Shaw) and driving, quirky hard bop ("A Shade of Jade") to free-form space-exploring soundscapes ("Current Events"). The playing from all the participants is uniformly fine, especially Cables and Henderson, whose tenor style draws influence from Sonny Rollins, Stan Getz and John Coltrane, but maintains its own sound. Highly recommended to any serious, open-minded jazz fan.