Joe Henderson: An Analysis of Harmony in Selected Compositions and Improvisations

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Arthur Lynn White (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Steven Stusek

Abstract: The main goal of this dissertation was to demonstrate Joe Henderson as a seminal figure in jazz history; a position that, despite his importance among jazz musicians, typically is lost when compared with many of his contemporaries. Three compositions and subsequent improvisations were selected for analysis. These pieces are among Henderson's most well-known compositions, and were selected because they represent the compositions most likely to be studied when one is first exposed to Joe Henderson. New transcriptions of the improvisations from each piece were created. A biographical sketch was also created. The second goal of this research was to elucidate the harmonic style of Joe Henderson's improvisations. The analysis supported the contention that Henderson was an improviser strongly influenced by bebop jazz while also equally displaying harmonic techniques considered as avant-garde for the period. Each improvised solo demonstrated characteristics of bebop as well as freer forms of jazz performance, equally displaying tonally strong bebop motives with techniques that were in contrast to the prescribed harmonic function of the compositions. The results of each solo portrays Joe Henderson as a jazz soloist firmly imbedded between two contrasting styles of jazz performance, making him both a significant contributor to the movement of the jazz field as well as an artist worthy of significant study and clarification.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2008
Joe Henderson, Jazz, Jazz improvisation, Jazz history, Saxophone, Jazz composition
Jazz $x History and criticism.
Saxophone music (Jazz).
Jazz musicians $x Biography.
Henderson, Joe, $d 1937-2001 $v Influence.
Henderson, Joe, ?d 1937-2001. $t Black narcissus.
Henderson, Joe, ?d 1937-2001. $t Recordame.
Henderson, Joe, ?d 1937-2001. $t Inner urge.

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