It is no secret that most popular music is here today and gone tomorrow. Yet, if you know music and the music business, then you know of the outstanding exception. There is absolutely nothing temporary about the fine music from the great age of the American Popular Song. The songs of Gershwin, Carmichael, Porter, Rodgers, and so many others, simply get better with time. They become permanent. They are "classics" because those who wrote them brought to their magic the skill of blending beauty of word and dream of every real songwriter.
William Henderson brings to those classics the styling of the jazz artist, combining the precision of pitch, the warm and sophisticated voice, and the fluid phrasing which recall a time when "jazz" and "popular music" meant much the same thing. Interestingly, besides the songs that "need no introduction," Henderson has a delightful talent for singing great songs from other languages, such as Italian and Portuguese. Witness his versions of Torna a Surriento and Manha de Carnaval; they are classics in their own musical cultures, and, through Henderson, items as diverse as Neapolitan dialect and joyous rhythms from Brazil are woven seamlessly into the fabric of all good music. You might hear him perform a few of his own songs, as well: A Slice of the Moon and Like a Star. They are songs that speak for themselves: good tunes, good lyrics. They fit perfectly with all of Henderson's music. It all sounds true, and finding true music in an age of commercial fluff and computerized responses to popularity polls is like sifting through ashes and finding a diamond: it's too good to be true. Yet, here it is: very, very good — and true.Henderson is a fine guitarist and often accompanies himself, but, like most honest jazz singers, admits that he prefers singing with good jazz combos, and fine big bands.
Henderson has appeared at clubs in Boston; Washington, DC; Panama City, Florida; and extensively in Naples and other cities in Italy. He has performed a number of times on Italian television. He has made 7 albums: Live at the AOC (1994), Dual Cool, with trumpeter Hunter Hustus, A Time For Love, (backing himself up on Guitar), small group albums, Lady is a Tramp, and Stars Fell on Alabama, a big band album A Slice Of The Moon (with a fine group of young American musicians.) and his latest and he says his best, “Body and Soul” with two superb Italian musicians, Franco DeCrescenzo on piano and Franco Coppola on Flute. The latest is available on CD Baby at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/thetrio4. Previous CDs are available on line on iTunes and Amazon and CD Baby.Among many performances in Italy, he has appeared in Sanremo, Rome, and Milan with the US Navy 6th Fleet band, and with that band also sang at the Split, Croatia, Jazz Festival. So, indeed, there is a common lament that "They don't write songs the way they used to,” and, alas, there is some truth in that. But they do still sing them! At least some people do. William Henderson, for one.
Songs on the Album
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