On the minus side of the ledger for many jazz fans that waited until the last decade of his life to turn their attentions to one of the great jazz tenors is that so much of his earlier, and in many respects stronger, material is too rarely heard. Verve has gone a considerable way toward correcting that situation with this compilation. There are significant cuts from those Verve tributes, and an outstanding track from his big band album for the label, but they didn't settle for the obvious. Verve took the time to go back to some of Henderson's 1960's sessions for Blue Note for the first four tracks on this disc (and Elvin Bishop's drum solo on "Inner Urge" should be reason enough to include this in your collection) and linked them to the more recent material with a track from his 1985 recording, "The State Of The Tenor." The inclusion of the Blue Note material will be enough to send fans back to the racks in search of more Joe Henderson, which will enrich the legacy of one of the great jazz saxophonists.
Verve has assembled a terrific Joe Henderson compilation, and in the process performed a service to the jazz world.