This long-lost debut of Joe Henry is a mixed bag compared to his later material. Fans of "Trampoline" or "Fuse" may want to take a pass but if you enjoy "Murder of Crows" and "Shuffletown", then this one belongs in your collection. Some songs have that over-produced mid 80's sound (reminds me of the first Bruce Hornsby record)but the more "spare" stuff sounds pretty vital. At it's core, TOH is still Joe Henry with everything you'd expect…sharp lyrics, nice melodies, the cover song (although Mellencamp's cover of "Wild Night" is better), etc. One nice surprise is more singer and piano material then his later work. If your devotion to Joe includes his early stuff, add this to your delight. For those into his last two discs, don't dig back quite so far. Try "Short Man's" or "Shuffeltown" instead.
Praise 4 Joe: tribute to Joe Henderson. Luca Mannutza and Max Ionata retrace the musical story of the great American saxophonist, who died in 2001, in the dry form of the duo, through the famous compositions of Joe Henderson and the mature and personal interpretation of the two musicians. The dimension of the duo leads to reasoning on the structures of the pieces and on the absences: giving the right place to all the elements that make up the writing and the execution. Interpreting in duo the songbook of a composer, of an important musician, becomes a further challenge, in making ends meet the needs of a concert, a recording, a performance.
Tony Joe White, the original swamp rocker, continues to garner critical acclaim; his songwriting skills have only sharpened over the years and he remains a potent force. It was by combining country, rock and funky blue-eyed soul for his 1969 Top 10 Hit 'Polk Salad Annie' that White established his credentials. His album Dangerous was released Columbia Records in 1983, which featured the country hits 'The Lady in My Life' and 'We Belong Together'.
Although André Previn had not recorded a regular jazz album in 27 years at this point in time (discounting a pair of Itzhak Perlman sessions featuring Previn's compositions), the great majority of the performances on this trio set with guitarist Joe Pass and bassist Ray Brown are first takes. Previn took time off from his busy schedule in the classical music world to return briefly to jazz, his first love. The results are often magical. Previn, Pass and Brown play together as if they had been touring as a group for years. The pianist is generous with solo space and Pass' solos are sometimes exhilarating. For Previn, it is as if the previous three decades did not occur for he plays in a style little changed from 1960, displaying an Oscar Peterson influence mixed in with touches of Lennie Tristano and Bill Evans.