Joe Henderson on "Straight Ahead"

Linoleum print of Joe Henderson by Stuart Armstrong
In a previous post, I posted a transcription of Hank Mobley's solo over the Horace Silver tune "Room 608"—I also mentioned that I wasn't a huge fan of Mobley's playing. Here's a transcription of a tenor player of whom I am a huge fan: Joe Henderson's solo over the Kenny Dorham rhythm changes variant, "Straight Ahead," from Kenny Dorham's 1963 record Una Mas.

This is the first commercially released recording Joe Henderson ever played on, and he sounds fully formed as a tenor stylist—greater experimentation and exploration would follow later in his career, but his mature tone and distinctive phrasing is already present on this recording.

Not to say that this solo is necessarily "better" than Hank Mobley's, though, but check out the solo and the transcription for yourself:













***Addendum (7/16/12): Also, notice that Tony Williams is only 17 on this record. Yes, 17.

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