One of the most significant improvisers to emerge from the 1960s and a major innovator on tenor saxophone until his death, at 64, in 2001, Joe Henderson possessed a uniquely slithering, squiggling attack, a parched tone that synthesized the epochal sounds of Rollins and Coltrane, and a conception that was equally comfortable in the realms of hard bop, modality, and free jazz. The nine live performances herein, recorded live at the fabled Lighthouse Cafe, Hermosa Beach, CA in September 1970, presents Henderson’s kinetic young working band at the time, featuring the buzzsaw trumpet of Woody Shaw, a frequent front-line partner of the leader. Stoked by a rhythm section of George Cables, Ron McClure, and Lenny White (with Tony Waters’s congas adding flavor on four selections), the dominant mood is effervescent, with the soloists at the tops of their respective games.
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