In 1985, Joe Henderson brought his renegade style to the Village Vanguard, and as others had done in previous generations, truly redefined the state of the tenor in the process! From November 14 to 16 in 1985, the Joe Henderson trio held court at the Village Vanguard for a legendary 10-set engagement, some of which was recorded for Blue Note and released in 1986 as two volumes under the declarative banner The State of the Tenor. The saxophone titan was 48 at the time, and sat comfortably at the top of the heap among his peers. The great pugilist of the instrument, his muscular approach was reflective of the brash sensibility of the ’80s; the heavy hitters joining him onstage, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Al Foster, complemented Henderson’s take-no-prisoners style with a sense of airy restraint, swinging big when they needed to fill in the negative space.
The Blue Note Tone Poet Series was born out of Blue Note President Don Was’ admiration for the exceptional audiophile Blue Note LP reissues presented by Music Matters. The label brought Joe Harley (from Music Matters), aka the “Tone Poet,” on board to curate and supervise a series of reissues from the Blue Note family of labels. Extreme attention to detail has been paid to getting these right in every conceivable way, from the deluxe gatefold jacket graphics and printing quality to superior mastering (all analog direct from the master tapes) by Kevin Gray to superb 180-gram audiophile LP pressings by Record Technology Inc. Every aspect of these Blue Note/Tone Poet releases is done to the highest-possible standard. It means that you will never find a superior version.
“The LPs are mastered directly from the original analog master tapes by Kevin at his incredible facility called Cohearent Mastering. We go about it in the exact same way that we did for so many years for the Music Matters Blue Note reissues. We do not roll off the low end, boost the top or do any limiting of any kind. We allow the full glory of the original Blue Note masters to come though unimpeded! Short of having an actual time machine, this is as close as you can get to going back and being a fly on the wall for an original Blue Note recording session.”
– Joe Harley
Joe Henderson, tenor saxophone
Ron Carter, bass
Al Foster, drums
• Blue Note Tone Poet Series
• Curated by Music Matters co-founder Joe Harley
• Audiophile-quality 180g vinyl LP
• All-analog mastering (direct from the master tapes) by Kevin Gray
• Manufactured at Record Technology Incorporated
• Deluxe gatefold jacket packaging
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