Inner Urge (Blue Note Classic Vinyl Series)
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At 27 years old, tenor saxophonist and composer Joe Henderson was already in his full artistic stride by the time he made Inner Urge, his 4th Blue Note album which was recorded in November 1964. His first 3 albums—Page One, Our Thing, and In ‘N Out—were quintet dates where Henderson had his frequent collaborator trumpeter Kenny Dorham by his side, but on Inner Urge, Henderson opted instead for a quartet setting with his the lone horn out in front.
The extraordinary line-up included two members of the trailblazing John Coltrane Quartet—pianist McCoy Tyner and drummer Elvin Jones—as well as Blue Note stalwart Bob Cranshaw on bass. Side A consists of 2 timeless Henderson compositions of differing temperaments that would go on to become standards: the intense title track “Inner Urge” and the jovial blues “Isotope,” which was an homage to Thelonious Monk.
Side B opens with a 3rd Henderson original, the evocation “El Barrio” which opens with Henderson’s plaintive cry. A stunningly gorgeous ballad performance of Duke Pearson’s piece “You Know I Care” follows before the album concludes with a brisk, up-tempo dash through the Cole Porter standard “Night and Day.”
Englewood Cliffs, NJ, November 30, 1964