This CD brings back one of the high points of singer Bill Henderson's career. Because he settled in Los Angeles, Henderson never became a major name but he was actually one of the top male jazz singers to emerge in the late '50s. Backed quite sympathetically by the swinging Oscar Peterson Trio (which consisted of pianist Peterson, bassist Ray Brown, and drummer Ed Thigpen), Henderson is in prime form on such songs as "All or Nothing at All," "Gravy Waltz," "I've Got a Crush on You," and "The Folks Who Live on the Hill"; four previously unissued songs round out the fairly definitive collection.
This is a great collection of rare and hard to find tunes compiled by Jeffrey Glenn. Hundreds of odds & ends by little known groups, famous singers, and famous singers before they became famous.
First Blood harks back to the glory days of the '60s blues-rock boom – Mike Henderson and the Bluebloods' gritty sound is far from original, but years on the Nashville bar band circuit have honed their skills to a razor-sharp point, and the record is refreshingly raw and direct, distinguished by rock-solid musicianship.
In the mid- to late '70s, Michael Henderson had a reputation for being a quiet storm-oriented singer. R&B fans associated him primarily with romantic material, whether it was with Norman Connors ("Valentine Love," "You Are My Starship," "We Both Need Each Other") or on his own ("At the Concert," "Take Me, I'm Yours," "Be My Girl," "In the Night-Time"). But the success of the quirky "Wide Receiver" in 1980 reminded Henderson's admirers that he was also quite capable of delivering an aggressive funk jam. Nonetheless, romantic soul ballads and slow jams remained a high priority for him, and they dominate 1981's Slingshot (which was originally released on vinyl LP by Buddah before being reissued on CD by The Right Stuff in 1995 and Funky Town Grooves in 2011).