Michael Henderson's Electric Miles
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Michael Henderson's Electric Miles

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"Michael Henderson's..Electric Miles storms Ronnie Scotts!"

JAZZWISE MAGAZINE! Ronnie Scott's (LONDON) Michael Henderson's prolific musical career has swerved from playing Bass for various Motown acts touring with Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franlin, finding fame as an R&B Solo vocalist, and from 1970-76 being one of the major players in Miles Davis' Electric era. It was this latter period, that Henderson celebrated during his 3 night residency at Ronnie Scotts. Together with his current band, made up of Sam Morrison (Saxophone), Adam Klipple (Keys), James "Biscuit" Rouse (Drums), Lenny Holmes (Guitar), Bhupinder S. Chaggar (Tablas/Percussion), the evening's two sets concentrated on the music that Henderson recorded and performed with Miles. On such albums as "Jack Johnson", "Agharta", and "On The Corner", where Davis was musically at his MOST explorative. This same sense of NEW adventure, did manage to rear up during this, the second night of Henderson's Electric Miles concert! Holmes opening electric guitar storm, LAID TO WASTE any notion, that what we were about to hear was going to be EASY LISTENING, as he STORMED through a solo that took in elements of Machine gun-era, Jimi Hendrix and Sonny Sharrocks' frenzied soloing on "Willie Nelson" from "Jack Johnson". Bolstered by Rouse's razor sharp drumming and Henderson's weaving Bass lines, the music gradually sucked the rest of the band into it's swirling, rhythmic, vortex of funky voodoo. In the second half, the inclusion of Tablas Player, "Bhupinder S. Chaggar" charged the atmosphere of the "On The Corner" sessions, BACK INTO LIFE while the math funk explosion that followed soon after was playfully enjoyable! EDWIN POUNCEY - JAZZWISE MAGAZINE


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WHAT CAN BE SAID OF MICHAEL HENDERSON?
Inventor of the "Dropped "D" Tuning for Bass Guitar? Child Prodigy? Born in a small southern town, Yazoo City Mississippi, raised in Detroit Michigan, and at the tender age of 13 playing Bass Guitar professionally with some of the greatest artists and groups, that MOTOWN had to offer! Some of those fellow Detroiters / artists were (in no particular order) "THE DETROIT EMERALDS", "THE FANTASTIC FOUR", "THE FOUR TOPS", "THE DRAMATICS", "STEVIE WONDER", MARTHA REEVES and THE VANDELLAS", "THE ORIGINALS", THE TEMPTATIONS", "DAVID AND JIMMY RUFFIN", MARILYN McCOO and BILLY DAVIS Jr.," "LESLIE UGGAMS", "JOHNNY TAYLOR", ARETHA FRANKLIN", MARVIN GAYE", AL GREEN", "THE SPINNERS...
After more than a few years on the road, while playing one of the world's finest venues NYC's., "The Copacabana", Michael Henderson was playing this concert with Stevie Wonder, when after a stunning engagement, in repose backstage, he was visited by none other than Jazz Great Miles Davis, who was accompanied by his then significant other, singer Betty Mabry. FYI: It was Betty who also introduced both Sly Stone and Jimi Hendrix to Miles! Fellow bassist Larry Graham was in her band before he obtained any inkling of fame!) This meeting was a pivotal transition in the lives and musical careers of both men. This also represented both a begining and end, the proverbial "One Door Closing, Another Opening".
Miles was looking to change his sound and his look when Betty introduced him to a hip, funky Bass Player, with a six foot stature and movie star looks! Upon hearing the then 18 going on 19 year old playing with ease, the intricate yet very funky bass lines with wonder (no pun intended) Miles instinctively knew, that Henderson represented an integral component for his own project which would direct him into unexplored musical territory! "I'm takin' yo F@king Bass Player", stated Miles to Stevie Wonder in his matter of fact, cool, raspy, "SO WHAT", tone of voice! A battle ensued between the two musical titans which lasted quite some time as to who M.H. would be playing/recording with... Ultimately, it was Henderson who after years of touring with Stevie felt a need to explore uncharted musical territory with the Jazz Legend...
THE LIASON
In the face of musical extremism, slamming and sometimes degrading reviews by Jazz critics of the time, "Michael Henderson - "The Devil That Made him Do it", remained true to a ground-breaking, new art form with Miles while simultaneously resting at the top of the "R&B" charts for his Bass Playing with such notables as "The Dramatics, Whatcha See(is whatcha Get), (I Wanna Go Outside)In The Rain, Marvin Gaye's "You're The Man" and the little known UK recording titled, "Stevie Wonder "LIVE" at The Talk 'o The Town (erroneously credited to James Jamerson) Dr John's album(recorded on the same night as Talk 'o The Town) The Sun Moon and Herbs, track entitled, "Black John The Conquerer", which features Mick Jagger(drove the teenaged impressionable MH to the session in his Rolls Royce!), Eric Clapton, Harold Mayburn, Ray Draper and more!
During the countless Miles recordings/sessions mere ideas were brought to life with the now "Electric Miles" a label describing his severence from the world of "Be-Bop and segueing into virgin territory with the new use(s) of electric instrumentation!
Now, decades later "Michael Henderson's...Electric Miles", comprised of former Miles Sax-man "Sam Morrison, and fresh faces; Pianist Adam Klipple, Guitarist Lenny Holmes, Drummer James "Biscuit" Rouse, Percussionist/Tablas player Bhupinder S. Chaggar explore no more! The influential Michael Henderson Bass lines have been appreciated and Sampled by a new generation! From Jeff Beck's "Freeway Jam" to Beyonce's "Girl", to Jay-Z's "Fallin", to Snoop Doggs'"Ballin", Pearl Jam, Modeski, Martin & Wood, Jay Wobble, Me'Shell N'dege O'Cello, Mobb Deep, LL Cool J, Tamia, Waymon Tisdale, Rick James, Compton's Most Wanted, DJ QWIK, Eminem, Notorious BIG, R. Kelly, Sean Combs to name just a few! It is also a litlle known fact: Bassist Verdine White, Stanley Clarke, Jaco Pastorious and Michael Henderson were all born on the SAME DAY! JULY 7th! SAME YEAR! 1951!! IMAGINE THAT!!
Influential Jazz Mag "JAZZWISE" was more than impressed, let us impress YOU!