Mode for Joe is the fifth studio album by American jazz saxophonist Joe Henderson, recorded and released in 1966. It would be the last Blue Note studio album to feature Henderson as a leader. Mode for Joe has been reissued on CD several times over; the 2004 Blue Note reissue remastered by Rudy Van Gelder is recommended, although the difference in sound is minimal and the bonus version of "Black" has been placed at the bottom track list instead of as an alternate in the middle.
A little-known recording that holds up well as a studio sequel of Joe Henderson's classic State of the Tenor live recordings. Here Joe runs through some of his own standards (Blue Bossa, Inner Urge) and well as jazz standards (`Round Midnight, Body and Soul, Take The "A" Train - which would also appear on his following album, the popular and beloved Lush Life). This unfortunately forgotten album serves as a nice bridge between his 80s Blue Note return and his popular latter day albums. Even though this album is a modest affair and nothing to get too excited about, here Joe still has a nice, full classic Blue Note-esque tone to his playing.
This posthumous CD is novel because it features Joe Pass exclusively on acoustic guitar, and it is obvious that he enjoyed every minute of these sessions. "The Shadow of Your Smile" is no longer easy listening fodder, as Pass turns it into a miniature master class in swing. "Star Eyes" is accented by the soft squeaks of Pass' fingers gently weaving their intricate magic. Most of the works of Joe Pass tended to be improvised blues, so the title track is an exception – a simple yet elegant ballad written for his wife. "Blues for Angel" highlights his matchless mastery of slow blues. The boppish blues "Satellite Village" is a perfect closer. The good news is that there are several more unreleased sessions by Joe Pass that will follow this superb collection.
An album led by guitarist Rick Laird, but a set that's probably equally noteworthy for the presence of tenorist Joe Henderson on a few tracks – who really shines here in an overlooked late 70s session! The core group is great enough – as Laird has these round, classic jazz guitar tones that slide in with soulful beauty next to the piano and Fender Rhodes of Tom Grant – and when Henderson's not around, Grant's solos are especially great – and really have this lyrical power that grabs us right away, and almost makes us forget the presence of Joe! But then Henderson comes back with that subtle edge of his – similar to his playing on the Mirror Mirror record – a raspy tone that really deepens the whole proceedings. Henderson produced the record, and plays on the tracks "Outer Serge" and "Tranquility".
An excellent album – and one of Joe Henderson's boldest sets from the early 70s! The record features Joe working with a hip group of young Japanese players that includes Terumasa Hino on trumpet and Masabumi Kikuchi on piano and electric piano – and the sextet format of the session stretches way past Joe's other Japanese recording from the time, which was issued in the US on Milestone. This one features very long tracks, with tremendous intensity from both the group and Joe, who's got a real edginess to his playing here. Includes a version of "So What", plus the originals "Sunrise In Tokyo" and "Get Magic Again".
Reissue with the latest remastering. Features original cover artwork. Comes with a descripton in Japanese. Joe Gilman's a hell of a pianist, and one who already sets the album on fire working with his core trio – but things take off even more once the mighty tenor of Joe Henderson comes into the mix! Gilman's group features Robert Hurst and Jeff Tain Watts on drums – both as ably rhythmic as Joe himself, and able to follow all his bold leaps and flights on the keyboard – and Henderson's presence graces four of the album's ten tracks, with this soulful current that really deepens the sound – although the whole thing was already great enough in the first place! Tom Peron also plays trumpet on one number that features Henderson – and Gilman also plays a bit of electric piano at points. Titles include "Non Compos Mentis", "Juris Prudence", "Nefertiti", "The Enchantress", "Treasure Chest", and "New Aftershave".