| Back to

This Week
About JazzSet
Tune In
E-mail JazzSet


Bill Henderson & His Trio @ The Kennedy Center

Bill Henderson.

Bill Henderson sings stories, paints pictures, swings and sounds good, onstage at the Kennedy Center on this JazzSet. When he's over, the audience gives him a send-off, but they don't leave. That's probably because it's so nice to be around Bill Henderson.

Born in Chicago in 1930, Bill came into music during a very hip era. And he had the ideal voice -- a gorgeous baritone, reminiscent of Joe Williams. He sang with Ramsey Lewis, in New York with Horace Silver, in Las Vegas with the Basie Band. He made a recording with Oscar Peterson (we hear a clip on JazzSet). Then he moved to Los Angeles.

Henderson credits Bill Cosby as his connection to the world of film and TV acting. He has dozens of credits to his name, regularly over five decades. As this set from the Kennedy Center unfolds, you'll hear why. There's more than a voice. Bill Henderson has beautiful timing and such an easy personality.

He highlights music by Billy Strayhorn, with insight into Strayhorn's complicated musical relationship to Duke Ellington. As the set closes, Bill delivers a short monologue that he remembers from Duke in Chicago. It's must-hear -- unique and sweet.

"I Thought About You" Van Heusen, Mercer
"Daydream" Ellington, Latouche, Strayhorn
"Flower is a Lovesome Thing" Strayhorn
"Tin Tin Deo" Fuller, Pozo
"I've Got a Crush on You" Gershwin, Gershwin
"Never Make Your Move Too Soon" Hooper & Jennings
"My Ship" Gershwin & Weill
"The Moon Was Yellow" Ahlert & Leslie
"That Old Black Magic" Arlen & Mercer
"Walkin" Davis
"Keep the Customer Satisfied" Simon
"My Little Brown Book" Strayhorn

Bill Henderson - vocals
Ed Vodicka - piano/musical director
Mark Z. Stevens - drums
Chris Conner - bass


  • Bill Henderson Film and Videography

  • Bill Henderson and Oscar Peterson on Verve Records

  • Kennedy Center Jazz


    Thanks to Kevin Struthers, Sean Costello and Sara Waller of Kennedy Center Jazz, with Joe Stanton on sound and Elizabeth Gramza, the stage manager.

    Dee Dee Bridgewater's recording engineer is Ginger Bruner at KUNV Las Vegas.

    Our producer is Becca Pulliam, Technical Director Duke Markos, and executive producer Thurston Briscoe III, at WBGO Jazz 88 in Newark, and writer Brian Sanders.

    Copyright 2007 NPR