Scott Yanow, author of 11 books including The Jazz Singers, The Great Jazz Guitarists and Jazz On Record 1917-76 Reviews Tony Adamo’s SONIC HENDERSON
Tony Adamo is not only a soulful singer but a top-notch spoken-word artist. When he pays tribute to a musician through his talks, while he is rapping about a subject, it is not rap. Rather than concentrating on rhyming or using drum machines as a background, Adamo talks intelligently about the subject, uses his words creatively, and interacts with top musicians. He is a throwback to the beatnik “word jazz” pioneers.
Joe Henderson (1937-2001) was one of the most original tenor-saxophonists to emerge during the 1960s. His inside/outside style, which found him equally comfortable playing hard bop and free-form jazz, along with his immediately distinctive sound, made him an underrated and influential jazz giant.
“Sonic Henderson” begins with a trio comprised of organist Mike LeDonne, guitarist Jack Wilkins and drummer Mike Clark cooking on an uptempo piece. They are soon joined by Tony Adamo who talks about the greatness of Joe Henderson, praising the tenor in hip ways. Wilkins and LeDonne take heated solos and Clark has a few drum breaks before Adamo returns, singing the praises of Henderson up until the fade out.
Sonic Henderson works quite well and will hopefully result in more listeners discovering Joe Henderson.