Michael Henderson

Michael Henderson – born July 7, 1951, in Yazoo City, Mississippi – was a jazz, fusion, and R&B bassist best known for his stint with Miles Davis in the early 1970s. Inspired by music as a child, he began to learn play the bass guitar. Moving to Detroit, Michigan in the early 1960s, he eventually became an in-demand studio session musician and live sideman. While touring with Stevie Wonder, Michael Henderson was discovered by Miles Davis, who hired him to be a member of his fusion-era band in the early to mid-‘70s. Michael Henderson appeared on Davis’ studio albums from 1971’s Jack Johnson up through 1975’s Pangea (plus live albums and compilations). Michael Henderson pursued a solo career while also continuing work as a session musician for artists such as The Dramatics, Norman Connors, and Johnnie Taylor. Michael Henderson released his debut solo album, Solid, in 1976. However, he didn’t achieve a solo commercial breakthrough until the release of his third solo album, In the Night Time, in 1978. The album reached Number 38 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart but charted a more impressive Number 5 on the R&B Albums chart and Number 6 on the Jazz Albums chart. His 1980 album Wide Receiver was also a hit, reaching Number 35 on the Billboard 200 and Number 6 on the R&B chart. By 1986, sales were slipping and his final album, 1986’s Bedtime Stories, managed to reach Number 30 on the R&B chart. Michael Henderson also had a series of successful singles including 1978’s “Take Me I’m Yours” (R&B Number 3), 1980’s “Wide Receiver” (R&B Number 4), and 1986’s “Do It to Me Good (Tonight)” (R&B Number 17). He is also known for recording duets with artists such as Phyllis Hyman and Jean Carn. Michael Henderson died of cancer on July 19, 2022, at the age of 71.

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