Joe Henderson

Power To The People

Craft • 1969

Jazz enthusiasts often like to say, »Well, you know…« And then you are subjected to hour-long PowerPoint presentations about the depths of fusion music, often concluding with the idea that everything went downhill after the late 1960s, because »It was all just fusion gone bad!« Well, you might say, it’s not that simple! You only have to listen to Joe Henderson’s 1969 album to understand. »Power To The People« is the title, and today it’s as radical as half-price crackers—but in the context of the time, it was something! Henderson also had a great band around him. Herbie Hancock had even tinkled on Miles Davis’ hard bop hallelujah a few months earlier. With Joe Henderson nothing was »silent« anymore, but rather »in the way«! The fact that the armchair critic—by this time Henderson was no longer the celebrated blue-note saxophonist who played beautiful tones—hit him with the word »fusion« is still a load of nonsense. Sure, it’s not all about pious fiddling, and Herbie Hancock’s Fender, like Ron Carter’s bass, draws the finest alternating current. Not all hipster cafés like that. But that’s all the better! Craft has re-released the album. And it’s about time!