Alice Coltrane & Joe Henderson
The Elements is an album by American saxophonist Joe Henderson, released in 1973 on Milestone. The 1970s was a decade of discovery for Joe Henderson, a time to set aside the post-bop instrumentations and repertoire he was identified with and brunch out into other realms. One of the most successful and challenging of these efforts that the Milestone label documented was the present four-part improvisation on the basic themes of “Fire”, “Air”, “Water” and “Earth”. Assisting the tenor saxophonist was a group of sympathetic explorers—Alice Coltrane on piano and harp, violin original Michael White, bass giant Charlie Haden, and the multitalented percussionist Kenneth Nash. Latin American, Indian, and Native American strains enter the mix as Henderson applies the heat and mercurial invention of his more conventional work to these open-ended settings. While the music is enhanced with overdubbing in spots, the true magic of The Elements emanates from the musicians’ collective genius at listening and responding to each other.