Michael Henderson, the jazz fusion bassist and R&B vocalist known for his work with Miles Davis in the 1970s, has died. The news was confirmed on the musician’s Facebook page. Henderson was 71.
“Singer, Songwriter, Bass Innovator, Music Producer, Father and Son Michael Henderson has peacefully made his transition surrounded by family and loved ones today at his home, Atlanta Georgia…” the post read. “Bless his heart and soul… He touched the lives of many and returned that love through his many live concerts, music recordings, social media, interviews and incessant touring which he loved… Please stay posted for details pertaining to The Michael Henderson ‘Celebration of Life’..”
Born in Yazoo City, Mississippi in 1951, Henderson moved to Detroit in the early 1960s, where he worked as a session musician. In the ’70s, he performed on early jazz fusion albums such as Jack Johnson, Live-Evil, and Agharta, becoming one of the most influential bassists of the fusion era. In addition to Davis, he went on to play with Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, and the Dramatics, among many others. Before his retirement in 1986, he released his own solo hit songs and albums for Buddah Records, and featured as a vocalist on several Norman Connors recordings, including ‘You Are My Starship’ and ‘Valentine Love’.