Sounds Visual Radio
Sounds Visual Radio
Episode 186: Henry Franklin

Bassist / composer Henry Franklin’s musical journey is a tapestry of iconic collaborations and groundbreaking achievements. From propelling Hugh Masekela’s “Grazing in the Grass” to dazzling performances at the Monterey International Pop Festival, Franklin’s bass wizardry has left an indelible mark. His rhythmic prowess has echoed alongside jazz luminaries like Stevie Wonder, Count Basie, and Freddie Hubbard.

The inception of his debut album, “The Skipper,” in 1972 under Black Jazz Records, marked a paradigm shift in the jazz landscape, hailed by critics as “adventurous postbop. He also went on to earn a gold record with Stevie Wonder and producing acclaimed albums like “Self-Determination Music” and “Secrets.”

A fixture at prestigious venues, Franklin’s enduring impact extends beyond stages. His regular gigs at The Mission Inn and the creation of the “Pierce Street Jazz” concert series showcase his commitment to jazz education. Franklin’s latest release, “Henry Franklin: JID014,” on the Jazz Is Dead label, stands as a pinnacle of his artistic journey, earning the 54th NAACP Image Award for “Outstanding Jazz Album – Instrumental” in 2023.

Not just a maestro on stage, Franklin penned the jazz bass player’s bible, “Bassically Yours.” Originally released in 1975, this method book, now a digital download, unlocks the secrets behind 225 tunes, featuring standards by jazz legends. Henry Franklin continues to shape the narrative of jazz, leaving an indomitable legacy as “The Skipper.”

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