Michael Henderson


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Michael Henderson's solo debut Solid brought immediate recognition to the longtime backing vocalist/musician. The mesmerizing ballad "Be My Girl" was the first release, and it propelled Henderson to number 23 on the R&B charts. (He later produced the same song for the Dramatics.) Composed by Henderson, "Valentine Love" is an even more indelible ballad. The spirited, seductive sax introduction bows to a poetic narrative and a smooth rhythm in which Henderson gives a ample vocal exhibition. The single was originally featured on Norman Connors' Saturday Night Special album, with Henderson sharing lead vocal duties with Jean Carne. The injustice here is that Henderson's solo version was never a release, though it is just as good as the duet. (Connors' version peaked at number ten on the R&B charts.) The second release from this impressive debut release was the upbeat "You Haven't Made It to the Top." While it's clear Henderson has his own style, the Brothers Johnson come to mind on this number. The remainder of the album is pleasantly diverse. The Mississippi native's grooves are inviting, from blue-funk instrumentals like "Time" and the title track to the free-flowing "Let Love Enter," where he vocally strides into the lyric. Henderson interjects his jazz roots on "Treat Me Like a Man," setting an urban mood while he patiently pleads his case. The songs on this collection are truly R&B gems, and Henderson's efforts are very underrated.

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