ARKADIA JAZZ ALL-STARS: Thank You, Joe! – Our Tribute to Joe Henderson

Catalog# 70004

UPC# 602267000429


Eric Reed: Piano; Rodney Whitaker: Bass; Carl Allen: Drums;

Javon Jackson: Tenor saxophone; Randy Brecker: Trumpet and flugelhorn;

Terrell Stafford: Trumpet; Steve Nelson: Vibraphone;

Joanne Brackeen: Piano; Renato Thomas: Percussion;

Ira Coleman: Bass; Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez: Drums;


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Another great tribute album by Arkadia Jazz All-Stars… If you’re a jazz fan at all you’ll recognize all of these familiar pieces, played here with passion and depth.  Just a wonderful album.  Thank you, Arkadia.” – Jeanette Housner, Victory Review

…exceptional… …entraps your senses and focus throughout the entire statement. Unequivocally, an artistic triumph and should be award-bound.” – Dr. Herb Wong, Jazz Educators Journal

“Arkadia Jazz All-Stars: Thank You, Joe” creates a memorable tribute to Joe Henderson, one of Jazz music’s greatest tenor saxophonists and composers. We at Arkadia Jazz feel it is important to honor the legacy of some of Jazz’s greats. For our “Thank You” series of musical homages, we asked our artists go into the studio and record an all new, previously unreleased song either derived from or influenced by the enduring legacy Jazz’s royalty. In this case, we honor tenor saxophone legend Joe Henderson.

“Unlike many less-than-stellar “tribute” albums, “Thank You, Joe!” provides vibrant insight into Henderson’s classic compositions, with passionate performances that pay homage to a musician whose ongoing contribution to jazz continues to be brought to the forefront.” – Steve Graybow, Billboard Magazine

Eric Reed, Carl Allen, Rodney Whitaker, Javon Jackson, Terrell Stafford, Randy Brecker, and Steve Nelson, with a special appearance by Arkadia Jazz recording artist and Henderson’s former longtime pianist Joanne Brackeen, interpret some of the songs that typify the Henderson sound and spirit in their own unique style and manner, creating a showcase of both Henderson’s music and the influence he left behind.

“…It is with special joy that Arkadia Jazz has added another title to its fine “Thank You” series with this grand salute to Henderson. The CD is exceptional, co-produced by drummer Carl Allen and label founder Bob Karcy. The assemblage of an impressive cast shines brilliantly through nine tunes with unbounded excitement and passion… Organized astutely in several configurations from trio to larger groupings, the CD is well-sequenced with power performances by all aboard… Infused with wealthy highlights, I am sure Joe is grooved by the splendid, heartfelt homage to him. …it entraps your senses and focus throughout the entire statement. Unequivocally, “Thank You, Joe!” is an artistic triumph and should be award-bound.” – Dr. Herb Wong, Jazz Educators Journal

Song Selection:

1. Mamacita Joe Henderson Eric Reed: Piano; Rodney Whitaker: Bass; Carl Allen: Drums; Randy Brecker: Trumpet; Terrell Stafford: Trumpet; Javon Jackson: Tenor saxophone 5:05
2. Isfahan Billy Strayhorn Eric Reed: Piano; Rodney Whitaker: Bass; Carl Allen: Drums; Terrell Stafford: Trumpet; Steve Nelson: Vibraphone 5:29
3. Gazelle Joe Henderson Joanne Brackeen: Piano; Ira Coleman: Bass; Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez: Drums; Javon Jackson: Tenor saxophone 4:50
4. The Kicker Joe Henderson Eric Reed: Piano; Rodney Whitaker: Bass; Carl Allen: Drums; Randy Brecker: Trumpet; Terrell Stafford: Trumpet 5:40
5. Ask Me Now Thelonious Monk Eric Reed: Piano; Rodney Whitaker: Bass; Carl Allen: Drums 6:00
6. Recorda Me Joe Henderson Eric Reed: Piano; Rodney Whitaker: Bass; Carl Allen: Drums; Randy Brecker: Trumpet; Javon Jackson: Tenor saxophone; Renato Thomas: Percussion 4:56
7. Isotope Joe Henderson Eric Reed: Piano; Rodney Whitaker: Bass; Carl Allen: Drums; Javon Jackson: Tenor saxophone 6:24
8. Inner Urge Joe Henderson Eric Reed: Piano; Rodney Whitaker: Bass; Carl Allen: Drums; Steve Nelson: Vibraphone 5:52
9. Granted Joe Henderson Eric Reed: Piano; Rodney Whitaker: Bass; Carl Allen: Drums; Carl Allen: Drums; Terrell Stafford: Trumpet; Javon Jackson: Tenor saxophone Steve Nelson: Vibraphone 3:40

All compositions by Joe Henderson, except “Isfahan” by Billy Strayhorn and “Ask Me Now” by Thelonious Monk

Arranged by: Eric Reed
Produced by: Carl Allen and Bob Karcy
Total Time: 58 minutes

The Artists Comment About Joe Henderson:

Carl Allen:

“Swing, imagination, courage and innovation. These words bring to mind something or someone different and special. That someone in this case is tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson who is, in my opinion, one of the pioneers of jazz. One of the things that I have always admired about Joe was all of the above as well as his consistency. Before I ever played with Joe, I always marveled at his forward thinking, his imagination and inventiveness.”

“As the drummer and one of the producers of this project it brings me great joy and honor to be a part of such a historically rich body of music. I always felt that Joe Henderson deserved to be highlighted in a big way and this is my attempt to help put the flood lights on him. Presenting, Mr. Joe Henderson.”

Eric Reed:

“The best tribute you can pay someone as great as Joe Henderson is to play his music your own way.”

“When I played with Joe, he wasn’t very big on words but believed in letting the music be expressed on the bandstand with no worries. The great thing about him and the thing that amazed me the most is that he is ALWAYS killin’, no matter who was in his band. His playing was always fabulous.”

“Playing with Joe taught me how to truly listen on the bandstand. He isn’t like a John Coltrane. Everything Joe plays is subtle and rather understated, so if you aren’t listening to what he is playing, as a pianist you will just get in his way, which is why he played trio a great deal of the time. I consider myself blessed that he decided to use me for a year.”

“If I played tenor, I’d want to sound like Joe Henderson… oh, and Charlie Rouse.”

Javon Jackson:

“Joe Henderson has played a significant role in my musical life. Therefore, I appreciate and welcome this opportunity to honor and pay tribute to Mr. Henderson for his wonderful and dynamic artistic career.”

Randy Brecker:

“I played in Joe’s Big Band when I first came to New York City in 1968 – thirty years later I toured with his quintet in the summer of 1998 (w/Conrad Herwig, George Mraz, and Al Foster) and was so thrilled to play with him, that I felt like a kid again. He is one of the greatest improvisers and composers that jazz has ever known, a true original, an inspiration to us all. It was wonderful to play this music once again, and an honor to be included in this project.”

Terrell Stafford:

“When the name Joe Henderson is mentioned, adjectives that immediately come to mind are creative, articulate and genius, all of which describe Mr. Henderson as a person, as well as a musician. With this said, the opportunity to participate on a project that paid tribute to a gentleman of his stature was an honor. In one’s life, one will recall special musical highlights, and this project will be considered one of those moments.”

Rodney Whittaker:

“Joe Henderson is one of the great voices of jazz. Mr. Henderson’s compositions and saxophone work brings to mind words such as alteration, innovation and revolution. The sound of jazz will be forever changed by his presence.”

Joanne Brackeen:

“I think Joe Henderson is fantastic, as a performer, composer and as a person. I had the good fortune to work with him for many years. My favorite composition of his is Gazelle. It’s amazing, and so many musicians love this song. It’s really a challenge to play. It has a 7/8 rhythm on top of a 4/4 time signature – and the melody of the tune also creates a mystique against the two time feels.”

What the Critics Say:

“Continuing their Grammy-nominated “Thank You” series, Arkadia serves up a tribute to the very much alive and recording Joe Henderson… All have been critically acclaimed, something this new release has in common with its predecessors. Arkadia has assembled a crack band to provide this tribute, one whose center is young tenorist Javon Jackson. …the lyrical and melodic Jackson more than delivers. His tone is confident and probing, respectfully inspecting the corners and edges of these Henderson gems. Jackson has a killer funkiness expressed perfectly on the opening “Mamacita” and “Isotope”. He is perfectly supported and augmented by Randy Brecker and Terrell Stafford, who both deliver blistering solos. Marsalis alum Eric Reed is at his typical urbane best on the piano… A spirited tribute all the way around.” – C. Michael Bailey,

“The tunes are well-chosen, and include some oft-recorded gems. A warm-hearted and well-conceived tribute…” – Dave Wayne, Jazz Weekly

“This CD pays tribute with former Henderson sidemen and other young musicians playing some of his more enduring tunes. Stafford (flugelhorn) and vibraphonist Steve Nelson add luminous warmth to Billy Strayhorn’s “Isfahan”. Javon Jackson was a good choice for the tenor spot – he’s an inventive player. This is an effective homage, demonstrating just how good Henderson’s compositions have been and the kind of thoughtful, vibrant playing they can provoke.” – Stuart Broomer,

…a delightful new release that not only pays tribute to saxophonist Joe Henderson’s legacy but also adds to it. …this group is more than up to the task of feting Henderson… (Eric) Reed’s piano is bright and playful throughout the session… Reed’s arrangements offer insight into the intricate structure of the Henderson compositions on display..” – Ralph Pantuso,

“On this recording, seasoned veterans such as trumpeter Randy Brecker and pianist Joanne Brackeen coalesce with some of the more prominent stars to emerge out of the ’80s and ’90s jazz scene for a hearty tribute to the great saxophonist Joe Henderson… Overall, the musicians engage Henderson’s aura with both enthusiasm and conviction as they eternalize the saxophonist’s significance via strong soloing and finely crafted arrangements that sustain interest throughout.” – Glenn Astarita,

” Four stars… A tribute to Joe Henderson in recognition of his fine contributions to jazz in the 1960’s and still today! The band includes Eric Reed (piano), Rodney Whitaker (bass), Javon Jackson (saxophone), and Randy Brecker (trumpet).  The songs are either written or popularized by Joe. A strong band + strong music = great listening!” – D. Oscar Groomes, O’s Place

“Something different in Arkadia”s “Thank You” series: where other efforts had varied casts and ambitious goals, this one just takes a small group and lets it groove. This, of course, is what Joe Henderson does best, having spent five years with Horace Silver, a master of this art. That sound imbues “Mamacita”: juicy piano, razor-riff horns, and the heavy drums of Carl Allen. “Isfahan” is lighter – Eric Reed glides along, Steve Nelson hits those glowing vibes, and you are in love… If I had to review this in one sentence, it would be “Everybody had fun”. And this includes you.” – John Barrett, (Short Takes)

The tunes are well-chosen, and include some oft-recorded gems (“Recorda Me”, “The Kicker”, “Inner Urge”)… Eric Reed’s soulful piano recalls that of one of Henderson’s first employers, Horace Silver… Javon Jackson’s warm tone and unhurried approach to improvisation echoes Henderson’s… (Joanne) Brackeen, as usual, is wonderfully inventive and skittish… “Thank You, Joe!” is a warm-hearted and well-conceived tribute to an artist whose true impact on the music is only beginning to be understood.” – Dave Wayne, Jazz Weekly

…”Thank You, Joe!” is a testament to enduring legacy of one of jazz’s iconoclasts…” – allaboutjazz

“… a bunch of great players – including former Henderson pianist Joanne Brackeen… Brackeen loves the interesting mix of time signatures in his Gazelle, on which she plays with saxist Javon Jackson. One of the most lovely selections is Henderson’s “Inner Urge”, which stretches out over eight minutes with great interplay of Reed’s piano with Nelson’s vibes.” – John Henry, Audiophile Audition

About The Arkadia Jazz All-Stars:

The Arkadia Jazz All-Stars is a group established in 1996 as the brainchild of Bob Karcy, Producer, musician, Founder and CEO of Arkadia Records. Karcy’s original goal was to harness the creative brilliance of the Artists who recorded on its Arkadia Records labels, along with select guest musicians representing some of Jazz’s biggest stars, to create an unparalleled series of newly recorded, thematically unified studio albums. So far, ten albums have been recorded and three more are in production.

These Arkadia Jazz All-Stars releases have been honored with three Grammy Award Nominations.

The “Thank You” Series – Tributes to the most revered artists in the history of Jazz:

The first “Thank You” Series was created to honor the memory and the lasting legacy of many of the greatest and most esteemed artists in the history of Jazz.

The initial album in the “Thank You” series is entitled “Arkadia Jazz All-Stars: Thank You, John! – Our Tribute to John Coltrane” (Grammy Nominated for “My Favorite Things” by David Liebman).

This was followed by “Arkadia Jazz All-Stars: Thank you. Duke! – Our tribute to Duke Ellington”.

The Lead All-Star Members of these two albums are: Benny Golson, Billy Taylor, T.K. Blue, Joanne Brackeen, Nova Bossa Nova, and Joris Teepe.

The Supporting Members performing with them are: Mulgrew Miller, Buster Williams, Carl Allen, Eric Reed, Rodney Whitaker, Mike LeDonne, Vic Juris, Steve Nelson, Terrell Stafford, Ira Coleman, and Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez.

Appearing as Special Guests are: Randy Weston, Don Braden, Chris Potter, Claudio Roditi, Bob Mintzer, David Hazeltine, Bruce Cox, and Harold Land.

Next on the agenda were new tribute albums to Joe Henderson (“Thank You, Joe! – Our Tribute to Joe Henderson”) and Gerry Mulligan (“Thank You, Gerry! – Our Tribute to Gerry Mulligan”). For “Thank You Joe!”, Karcy and Musical Directors Eric Reed and Carl Allen put together an ensemble including Randy Brecker, Terrell Stafford, Steve Nelson, Rodney Whitaker with special guest, Joanne Brackeen.

For “Thank You, Gerry!” (Grammy Nominated for “My Funny Valentine” by Randy Brecker), Karcy and Musical Director, Ted Rosenthal enlisted jazz legends Lee Konitz, Bob Brookmeyer, Randy Brecker, with Javon Jackson, Dean Johnson and Ron Vincent, all of whom performed with Gerry Mulligan’s band.

Thematic Albums:

The next series of albums were conceived as thematically-driven group collections of outstanding singles, representing the best-of-our-best.

The first two albums, “Arkadia Jazz All-Stars: The Stars of Jazz #1” (Grammy Nominated for “Body and Soul” by Branford Marsalis) and “Arkadia Jazz All-Stars: The Stars of Jazz #2” (Grammy Nominated for “My Favorite Things” by David Liebman), present the most highly recognized artists, including Joanne Brackeen, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Benny Golson, Lee Konitz, Branford Marsalis, Billy Taylor, Randy Weston, Gary Bartz, and Nat Adderley.

The “Arkadia Jazz All-Stars: The New Young Lions of Jazz” showcases the next generation of rising stars on the Jazz horizon, including James Carter, Don Braden, Chris Potter, Javon Jackson, Ravi Coltrane, Eric Reed, Stefon Harris, Nicholas Payton, Steve Turre, and Kurt Elling.

The “Arkadia Jazz All-Stars: Out and Out Jazz” captures inventive performances on the cutting edge of modern and free jazz, both fully composed and improvised. This album showcases John Abercrombie, Paul Bley, Joanne Brackeen, John Clark, Andrew Hill, David Liebman, Pat Metheny, Nicholas Payton, Gary Peacock, Sam Rivers, and Reggie Workman.

Everyone has known love, and that emotion is beautifully expressed in “Arkadia Jazz All-Stars: It’s About Love”, a new album of heartfelt romantic ballads, performed by Benny Golson, Nigel Clark, Joanne Brackeen, T.K. Blue, Mary Pearson, Billy Taylor, Kenny Drew, Jr., Eric Reed. It includes the stunning Grammy Nominated “My Funny Valentine” by Randy Brecker.

Arkadia Records continues to create new releases from the Arkadia Jazz All-Stars. Albums currently in production are tributes to Thelonious Monk (“Thank You, Thelonious!”) and Miles Davis (“Thank You, Miles!”), as well a suite of lively standards and compelling original songs for the holiday season.

Bob Karcy’s ultimate aim is that the Arkadia Jazz All-Stars will emerge as an artistically successful recording group in its own right. In addition to creating new, exciting and stellar music, the All-Stars will showcase the Artists on Arkadia Records, creating greater awareness and recognition of their talent, and helping them reach a new generation of listeners far beyond their core fans.

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