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Michael Henderson

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  • Born: Yazoo City, MS
  • Years Active: 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s

Albums

Biography All Music GuideWikipedia

All Music Guide:

Vocalist/bassist Michael Henderson has enjoyed successful careers as a player and performer. He moved from Yazoo City, Mississippi to Detroit in the early '60s, and was a session player. As a 13-year-old, Henderson played bass with the Fantastic Four, Detroit Emeralds, Billy Preston, and other Motown acts in 1964 and 1965. He later toured with Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin before joining Miles Davis. Henderson played and toured with Davis for seven years. When he met drummer/producer Norman Connors, Henderson pitched him some songs. Connors recorded "Valentine Love" on his Saturday Night Special LP, featuring Henderson with Jean Carne. This was his vocal debut, and it reached nubmer ten on the R&B chart. Henderson wrote two other hits for the LP, "We Both Need Each Other" and "You Are My Starship," which peaked at number four.

Those successes landed Henderson his own Buddah deal in 1976, and in 1978 he got his first Top 10 R&B hit with "Take Me I'm Yours" for Buddah. Henderson recorded for Buddah from 1976 to 1983, earning his biggest hit in 1980 with "Wide Receiver," a number four hit. He moved to EMI in 1986. Henderson also recorded "Can't We Fall in Love Again" with Phyllis Hyman on her own LP, and sang with Bobby Womack and Johnnie Taylor, as well as producing the Dramatics. He also helped discover Cherrelle, who was his next door neighbor in the late '70s. She sang background and toured with him for four years.

Wikipedia:

For other people named Michael Henderson, see Michael Henderson (disambiguation).

Michael Henderson (born 1951) is an American bass guitarist and vocalist best known for his bass playing with Miles Davis in the early 1970s, on early fusion albums such as A Tribute to Jack Johnson, Pangaea, and Live-Evil.

^ McCall, Michael (1997). "Michael Henderson". In Erlewine, Michael; Bogdanov, Vladimir; Woodstra, Chris et al. All Music Guide to Country: The Experts' Guide to the Best Recordings in Country Music. AMG All Music Guides (Hal Leonard Corporation): 88, 208. 0879304758. Retrieved 26 June 2014.  |displayeditors= suggested (help)

Biography[edit]

He was one of the first notable bass guitarists of the fusion era as well as being one of the most influential jazz and soul musicians of the past 40 years. In addition to Davis, he has played and recorded with Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, the Dramatics, Doctor John and many other famous artists. He is considered to be one of the three greatest Motown bass guitarists, along with Bob Babbitt and his primary influence, James Jamerson.

Before working with Davis, Henderson had been touring with Stevie Wonder, whom he met at the Regal Theater in Chicago while warming up for a gig. Davis saw the young Henderson performing at the Copacabana in New York City in early 1970 and reportedly said to Wonder simply "I'm takin' your bass player."

After almost seven years with Davis, Henderson focused on songwriting and singing in a solo career that produced many hit songs and albums for Arista Records until his retirement in 1986. Although known primarily for ballads, he was an influential funk player whose riffs and songs have been widely covered. His solo recordings have sold well over one million albums. A track titled "Wide Receiver" on an album of the same name is highly favored by breakdancers. The album was reissued by Superbird (UK) in November 2010 and a compilation titled The Best of Michael Henderson features the "Wide Receiver" song. He is also known for his ballad vocalizing on Norman Connors hit recordings of "You Are My Starship" performed solo and "Valentine Love" performed with Jean Carn.

^ Jung, Fred. "A Fireside Chat With Michael Henderson." www.allthatjazz.com, December 51, 2003. Retrieved April 28, 2014.

Influence[edit]

Many of his bass riffs have been imitated by players seeking the fat, deep grooves of the Motown sound. His bass riffs, from such hits as "Valentine Love" and "You Are My Starship", have been sampled by the likes of Snoop Dogg and L.L. Cool J, and his songs have been sampled and/or covered by Jay-Z (American Gangster (album)), Eminem (for 8 Mile), and projects by Notorious BIG, Rick James, Wayman Tisdale and Sugar Ray, among others.

He currently lives in the US and plays shows intermittently, performing his solo material as well as that of other Motown and soul musicians. He has also played reunion concerts with other former members of the Davis electric bands.

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