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Valley Life | Jazz Riffs

In Tune With Talent : Vocalist Bill Henderson delivers songs in fullness of style.

November 20, 1998|ZAN STEWART | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

There's nothing lacking in the vocal artistry of Bill Henderson.

He has an appealing, gravelly warble, a drummer-like sense of rhythm, a way to the essence of a lyric and grand taste in songs. Others who have felt the same way are Count Basie, Horace Silver, Oscar Peterson and Jimmy Smith, all among the jazz greats with whom the singer Henderson has either performed or recorded.

These days, though, Henderson mostly spends his time with his other love: acting. His resume includes such films as "Lethal Weapon IV," "Hoodlum" and the cult classic, "Inside Moves," and this week he's been shooting an episode of the NBC-TV series, "ER."

Henderson's absorption with acting makes his appearance tonight at Chadney's in Burbank special. There, working with his longtime partner, the decidedly swinging pianist Michael Melvoin, plus hearty-toned bassist John Heard and the ever-crisp drummer Sherman Ferguson, the vocalist will dig into chestnuts by the Gershwins, Kurt Weill and Johnny Mandel, as well as originals by Melvoin and lyricists Milo Adamo and Rich Hurwitz.

"I love working with Mike. He's really involved with what I do," said Henderson, whose latest album is " 'Joey' Revisited."

Melvoin, a stalwart of the Los Angeles jazz scene, added: "Bill transforms his material, and that makes you want to do something musical to match that."

Bill Henderson and Mike Melvoin appear tonight Friday (11/20), 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., at Chadney's, 3000 W. Olive St., Burbank. No cover, one drink minimum per show. (818) 843-5333.

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Rising Guitarists: About a decade ago, Chris Standring left England for Los Angeles, seeking his 15-plus minutes of fame. He's found a bit, as his debut album, "Velvet," is selling splendidly. A pop-influenced stylist who can also swing, Standring appears on Wednesday, 9:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m., at Cafe Cordiale, 14015 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks; no cover, no minimum; (818) 789-1985.

Guitarist Anthony Wilson, son of jazz great Gerald Wilson, writes with a keen ear, as reflected both by his various writing prizes and his fine latest album, "Goat Hill Junket." The fellow can play, too, and he'll show that side of his art when he teams with fellow guitarist John Pisano on Tuesday, 8:30 p.m. at Papashon, 15910 Ventura Blvd., Encino; no cover, no minimum; (818) 783-6664.

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Zan Stewart writes about jazz for the Valley Edition. He can be reached at Zansky@aol.com.

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