The Jazzcat

Henry Franklin " The Skipper" at the LAX Westin!

by on Jul.18, 2005, under News


Slide Show

Well, I guess when you say the word “Skipper”, most of the

world may think about some tall white haired cat that utters the phrase, “Hey

little Buddy!” However, when it comes to jazz music, there is but one, kindly

referred to as “The Skipper” and he is Henry Franklin.


For certain this world class bass player runs a tight ship

of musical melodic love in four. Standards that swing and smile with delight. Tunes

like Horace Silvers, “Juicy Lucy”, “My One and Only Love”, “Softly as in a

Morning’s Sunrise”,

Coltrane’s “Giant Steps” and even some original music from two of his latest

disc called “Three Card Molly” and “All Gods Children”. Tonight on piano is

William Henderson (Kaman), Carl Burnette on drums and Mark Waggoner on guitar.


As usual, due to the early starting show time and Los Angeles traffic, the

audience at the Westin starts off small and builds during the set. By the end

of the first set, the place was overflowing. The crowd was filled with its

share of regulars but tonight, everyone seems to be a connected musical family.

They all seem to have a relationship on some level with Henry, a group of true



The Skipper and his crew are certainly a beloved band. The

music and their kind spirits attest to that. The melody is sweet as Kaman and

Mark add just the right ingredients. Carl is riding high on the symbols and

brush stroking the time as these cats tighten the screws and lock down the



Henry evenly weaves his magic as he solidly holds down the

rhythm with ease. He is a gentle giant of this music and his solos are passionately

melodic. He dedicated the song, “I Love You” to his audience and the love was

certainly given in return. On the break, he smiles at me and says with

confidence, “Did we bring them out”? Although the answer was overwhelmingly obvious

I replied, “It looks like you did”!


A couple of surprises happened during the second set when

Kaman jumped up from piano and switched to Soprano, who knew? Also, emerging from

the audience to sing like a bird in the night was Ms Talita Long, who also

appears on Henry’s latest disc, “All Gods Children” that was released the same

day as the performance. All in all, an outstanding performance and great

turnout for a great man of jazz, Mr. Henry Franklin.


LeRoy Downs


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