Joe Henderson always had the respect of fellow musicians and hardcore jazz fanatics, but for a long time it seemed the closest he'd get to fame was his brief stint in Blood, Sweat & Tears (years later he reminisced, in one of my favorite interviews, about how that short period was when sax companies wanted his endorsement and gave him free horns). Hardly fair considering that he spent a quarter century ranked among the top three tenor saxophonists alive, along with Rollins and Shorter. Then, almost miraculously, Verve put together a masterful production/promotion campaign that made him more famous in his last decade than he'd ever been before. Alas, emphysema took him at age 64, but he'd managed to leave an impressive legacy with nary a misstep -- he never made a bad album, and his appearance on anyone else's album was always a mark of quality. (Why is Ptah, the El Daoud Alice Coltrane's best album? At least partly because Joe's on it.) Here are my favorites, in chronological order (dates in parentheses are recording dates).