Influenced by Lester Young initially, then by Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane, Joe Henderson created his own unique sound. After attending classes at Wayne State University with inspirational classmates such as Yusef Lateef, Barry Harris and Donald Byrd, Henderson was active on the Detroit jazz scene in the 1950s.
Part of Horace Silver’s Quintet for the recording Song for My Father, Henderson also recorded with Lee Morgan and McCoy Tyner. One of the stable of Blue Note Records’ talented sidemen, he appeared on thirty albums from 1963 to 1968, five under his own name. Leading his own bands for Milestone and Verve labels, he played everything from jazz/funk fusion to tributes to George Gershwin and Billy Strayhorn. He was also a beloved teacher.
I’m in constant search of new information and ideas, and I want to make the best of this short time that we’re out here on this planet living this nebulous thing called life. And I want to plant a few trees along the way and nurture some minds and watch them grow, as people did for me.–Joe Henderson