Michael Henderson – 1978 – In The Night Time
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You don’t get to play with someone like Miles Davis for six years unless you really can hold your own. And bassist Michael Henderson did just that, working with the jazz great from 1970 until ’76, recording some great music in the process. Henderson recorded and toured with a plethora of legends, including Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations and Marvin Gaye. He was one of the most in-demand bassist on the Motown roster. It was with Miles Davis that Henderson got the chance to really stretch out, proving himself to be among the most adept musicians in the world. Henderson had left the Davis domain and the same year become involved with producer/drummer Norman Connors’ album ‘Saturday Night Special’; he was the featured vocalist on the hit ‘You Are My Starship’. All of this gave Henderson the reputation and confidence to set out on his own. It was to prove a very successful journey, as the man piled up a collection of hit singles and albums. In The Night-Time was Henderson s biggest selling album and the single Take Me I m Yours reached #3 in the Billboard R&B singles chart.
A1 Take Me I’m Yours 4:20
A2 We Gan Go On 6:17
A3 Happy 6:04
A4 In the Night-Time 4:55
B1 Whisper in My Ear 7:11
B2 Am I Special 4:11
B3 Yours Truly, Indescreetly 3:45
B4 One to One 4:58
Even with two superb albums that came before it,again everything on this album just really clicked to the n’th degree. Michael Henderson’s mixture of dynamic love songs combined with heavy melodicism and technically spectacular funk brings to mind a fine extention of one of his most famous music co-horts:Stevie Wonder. Add to that the rich deepness and range of Hendersons voice,not to mention his strong variety and ability on bass and you have a sound that continues to grow more potent each time it makes a step forward. “Take Me I’m Yours” brings all the best qualities of the album together into one spectacular song. “We Can Go On” is….I don’t even know if I can describe it. It’s quite possibly one of the most vital and wonderful funk instrumentals I’ve ever heard. With reverb and echoplex added in just the right the places the groove and every instrumental turn involved just begs for more-and you get more:over 7 minutes worth of it in fact. Following perhaps in the grand tradition of James Brown,as many had already of taking songs and re-arranging them later the funky title track gets it’s own musical shadow (with different lyrics of course) on “Yours Truly,”Indiscreetly“. The spiritually bassy,almost EWF-ish “Happy” also gets a similar treatment with “Whisper In My Ear“.
The album only contains one genuine slow jam to temper the smoldering funk and soul of the rest of the album and that’s “Am I Special“,which gives Michael a turn at really flexing him vocal punches-not that he doesn’t have plenty of space the rest of the time here. The albums ends on another wonderfully grooving note on “One To One“:sort of funk but sort of a cool down as well. Luckily arriving at a time when the “70’s Soul Man” could also be a superb musician and funkateer-and SUCCEED at it Michael Henderson was in the possition to leave us all a significantly funky and passionate body of work that also functions highly musicianly as well so,even after the time comes where he’s not with us anymore these will be a reminder of something special.