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Michael Henderson Solo Albums

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Dr. Cheese, Nov 4, 2004.


  1. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    How many here are fans of Michael Henderson's solo albums? Back in the late seventies and early eighties, I believe that he was the most sophisticated combination of musician/front man in r&b. His solo albums starting with "Solid" in 1976, "Going Places," (1977), "In the Nighttime," (1978) were absolutely awesome. They had reat singing and arrangements, plus to top it off, Henderson had an amazement knack for creating fantastic and complicated basslines that did not get in the way of other instruments or his vocals. I guess quitting school and going to work for Motown at fourteen where I'm sure he rubbed shoulders with Jamie Jamerson couldn't help but make him a great bassist. Henderson's 1980 album, "Wide Reciever" was great also, but it was realy dominated by the title cut, a Parliament style synth bass jam.

    Although Michael Henderson had a decent slap technique, what really set him apart was his use of fretless in r&b starting with two cuts on the "Going Places" album. If anybody wants to learn how to use a fretless in a a subtle way, check out Henderson, especially on "In the Nighttime."

    To me the great downside of Michael Henderson's solo career was that although he great success with top ten r&b hits and a gold album, with "In the Nighttime," he never became the superstar that his talent suggested. I really think he was utlimately to much of an artiste, to go totally commericial.

    Finally, I have to say that Michael Henderson, along with the Anthony Jackson, have done more to refine and update the classic Jamie Jamerson approach to the instrument.
     
  2. hands5

    hands5

    Jan 15, 2003
    good 'ol USA/Tampa fla.
    none
    This just let you know that the Music business is just that.Business.I've always been a fan of Michael henderson especially during his days with Miles Davis,and if you can find it there is some material that he's on with Bayette' Todd Cochran,and Pat Travis again though,this is really hard to find. I did get to see him with Norman Connors,and the now deceased,and talented Violinist:Noel Pointer,and both of those times that I saw Mike he never dissappointed.
     
  3. JimK

    JimK

    Dec 12, 1999
    The 'biz' trying to manufacture a backing musician with a decent voice/decent look into a Pop/R&B star...along with Henderson, 2 others that come immediately to mind-
    Narada Michael Walden
    Norman Conners(Henderson may even be the bassist on Conners' records...like "You Are My Starship"?)

    I don't own those Henderson solo discs...I do like the raw energy on the Miles' albums, though(On The Corner, Jack Johnson, Agharta, Panagea, etc).
    BTW, how 'bout Henderson's famous flub on the Jack Johnson album ?

    This thread has reminded me I need to get my copy of Children On The Corner back from my neighbor!
     
  4. JimK

    JimK

    Dec 12, 1999
    Chuck Rainey?
     
  5. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    You got a point there. I guess I could have also added Jerry Jemont and Willie Weeks into the mix also. Still, the Henderson solo albums have special spot in understanding of bass because in the late seventies when it was all Louis Johnson and Larry Graham slapping that dominated r&b bass, Henderson was a bassist who could be flashy and he could also lay down wonderful, often jazz influenced lines. he really showed me how a bassline could be complex and challenging while still being subordinate to the vocals.
     
  6. hands5

    hands5

    Jan 15, 2003
    good 'ol USA/Tampa fla.
    none
    Well said