Laying in the bouquet of any jazz ensemble, of any era, playing any style, is the bass. Sturdy and stoic, but also capable of providing the emotional crux, the bass is an essential unit, a compass on which the rest of the ensemble relies on, the provider of the heartbeat, the rhythm, the feel. The conjurer of traditions, the conductor of an elastic orchestra, writing symphonies in real time. There is one such conductor whose own legacy, much like their instrument, has been obscured while remaining ever present. Take a closer listen, however, and the music and career of Henry “The Skipper” Franklin is among the most luminous of any jazz artist. A native of Los Angeles, Henry Franklin came of age while the city was producing some of the most exciting jazz talent in the nation. Early mentorship from his father, who was a bandleader, was foundational. In addition, Franklin took lessons from bassists George Morrow and Al McKibbon.
A cultural movement redefining the way we listen, feel & think about great music. All open minds welcome. #jazzisdead