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Inexpensive and tasty
hbaker | Denver, CO United States | 04/24/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of Joe's more eclectic albums, along with "The Elements", this album has some great players and tunes. No two tracks are alike, and the extensive use of percussion and voices makes for a very dense album. Some notable players include Jack DeJohnette on drums, and Dave Holland on bass (both from Miles' 69-70 group that did Bithche' Brew). Larry Willis plays keyboards and uses an Electric Piano for the majority of the album (it WAS 1973). Two other guys play guitar, but only on two of the five tracks. Joe sings the lead with his overdubbed Tenor sax on the first track, the second is a slower Latin-esque feel, the third has some intense soloing over a drone of human voices, the fourth is an up-tempo groove, and the fifth is a much looser track for Joe to lose his mind over (although the band kicks into swing time for much of the tune). All in all, this is a killer album with some very diverse and interesting material on it from one of the greatest and most under-appreciated Tenor Sax players of our time. If you're a fan of saving your cash, check out the other albums that were put out on Milestone, Riverside, Prestige, etc. that have been thrown onto the Fantasy label these days. I'd love to get people to stop paying $16-$20 for IMPULSE records; they're great, but I'm not stoked with letting go of Andrew Jackson every time I want one of the records from that label."
Strong playing, slightly dated
Tyler Smith | Denver, CO United States | 04/03/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Multiple" deserves an extra half star for Joe's usual stellar playing, and the rest of the band (Jack Dejohnette, drums, Larry Willis, electric piano and Dave Holland, bass) all meet the standards you'd expect from them. The album's drawbacks, for me, are a lack of creative focus that characterized some of Henderson's Milestone albums and the somewhat dated quality that derives from the all-too-ubiquitous electric piano sound that dominated this era (it's a 1973 release).Joe's work for me falls into four rough phases: the prolific Blue Note period; his time with Milestone; a period in the '80s in which he seemed to drop from sight, but surfaced occasionally with some strong recordings; and his remarkable "comeback" (although of course he'd never really been away) beginning in 1991 with "Lush Life." "Multiple," like many of his recordings for Milestone, doesn't lack for spirited playing, but seems to struggle to find an identity. Indeed, Henderson himself was once quoted as saying he recorded every kind of album for Milestone except one that sold well.For this effort, we hear a spirited chant, "Tress-Cun-Deo-La," complete with an overdubbed vocal by Joe and handclaps; the mysterious "Song for Sinners" that evolves over a drone; a typical dollop of jazz funk from "Turned Around," an atmospheric "Bwaata" and the saxophone-driven "Me Among Others." Each tune is interesting in its own right, and "Bwaata" has a particularly affecting melodic line. Still, as a listener, I feel Joe trying on different sounds without ever quite defining his direction. As a result, although I've had the album since it came out and kept it in my collection (largely due to my steadfast loyalty to Henderson), it's not one I've come back to as much as others.As the previous reviewer rightly points out, there is a dense, dark sound to this album, largely created by DeJohnette's layered percussion. I found the atmosphere a bit too similar to other albums of the period, especially with the overlay of the electric piano. Willis is a fine player and has a particularly good effort on "Turned Around," but for me the electric piano never measures up to the acoustic in creating sounds of surprise.All that said, some listeners may still find this approach interesting enough, or like Henderson enough, to add it to their collections. For me, this one joins a list of not quite realized Henderson's Milestone efforts that also include "The Elements," "Black Miracle" and "Canyon Lady." For those wanting a stronger sense of the power of his playing during this period, I suggest two live albums, "If You're Not Part of the Solution, You're Part of the Problem," and the superb "Live in Japan.""