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Rick Henderson

Alto saxophonist Rick Henderson became a disciple of bebop after his preliminary grounding in golf swing, a stylistic characteristic that could have produced him attractive to Duke Ellington once the last mentioned big-band head was struggling to convince bebop maestro Charlie Parker to become listed on his music group. It had been trumpeter Clark Terry who suggested Henderson to Ellington; Terry acquired noticed the saxophonist while looking into local music on the gig in Henderson’s hometown of Washington, D.C. Henderson examined composition in senior high school and would ultimately focus more upon this aspect of imagination than forcing audio away from a reed. He performed within a septet at senior high school dances aswell, graduating in 1946 and engaging in the neighborhood jazz picture where his preliminary urges to ape players such as for example Benny Carter and Johnny Hodges was shortly trumped with the interesting brand-new directions touted by Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, among others. Henderson became a member of the Army for just two years in 1951 and marched following that in to the Ellington squad, dealing with the challenging job of pursuing up veteran sharpshooters Willie Smith in addition to Hodges himself. Henderson spent five years within the Ellington reed section alongside the fantastic players Russell Procope, Harry Carney, Jimmy Hamilton, and Paul Gonsalves. His structure “Carney” was a family portrait from the clarinetist and baritone saxophonist who was simply among Ellington’s longest-lasting sidemen. Ellington started to depend on Henderson’s capability with pencil and score through the period once the music group was under agreement for Capitol Information. An anecdote in W. Royal Stokes’ publication The Jazz Picture amusingly information the demands of the romantic relationship: “One night time before a documenting program, Duke casually lowered by my accommodation at 2 a.m. with some music for me personally to create by 10:00 another morning. I used to be fifty percent asleep and I guaranteed I would get it done, however when I understood what I was discussing — Duke venturing out and getting a ball and I was waking up at 2:00 and compose all night longer and then do not delay – record — I acquired up from the bed and proceeded to go and discovered Duke and provided him the music back again. And he laughed ‘trigger he understood I understood what he was carrying out — he was thinking about getting a ball. THEREFORE I returned and got me some rest.” Ellington turfed out Henderson in 1956, his Capitol agreement over and his ambition to radically alter the audio of the well-known big music group by shifting several section chairs. Henderson returned to Washington, where he led the home music group on the Howard Theater, doing a minimum of four shows every day until 1964. At that time his structure and arrangement actions became even more prominent. He had taken on tasks well in to the ’90s, not merely for jazz rings but for college groups and armed forces orchestras aswell. Ellington used a few of his graphs, as did competition Count number Basie, tenor saxophonist Illinois Jacquet, and pianist Billy Taylor, who especially liked Henderson’s experience for the Ellington audio. During the past due ’70s Henderson executed the jazz ensemble on the School of Maryland.

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