Henderson, Horace (W.)
Henderson, Horace (W.)
Henderson, Horace (W.), jazz arranger, pianist, leader; b. Cuthbert, Ga., Nov. 22, 1904; d. Denver, Aug. 29, 1988; brother of Fletcher Henderson. He began piano studies at 14, spent a year at Atlanta Univ., then studied at Wilberforce Coll. for three years (A.B. degree). He formed his own student band, The Collegians, and began to work at composing at least as early as did his brother. During summer vacation of 1924 the band worked at the Bamville Club in N.Y. During the following year they played a residency at Lawrence, Mass., then began regular touring (using the Wilberforce campus as a base until summer of 1926), with Rex Stewart and Benny Carter in the lineup. The group changed its name to The Dixie Stompers in 1928. In late 1928, Henderson temporarily disbanded and worked with Sammy Stewart, but regrouped for touring in 1929, and then played further residencies in N.Y. (1929–31). In 1931 he relinquished leadership to Don Redman, although he continued to work with Redman until early 1933. He played in Fletcher Henderson’s Band from early 1933 until July 1937, except for a brief period in spring 1935; he also provided many arrangements for the group. In July 1937, he relocated to Chicago, where he led a band at various clubs through the early 1940s. From November 1942-August 1943, he served in the U.S. Army and then rejoined Fletcher in Chicago until May 1944. Horace then moved to N.Y. to become the accompanist for vocalist Lena Home, but by summer 1945 had reformed his big band in L.A., working there through mid-1949. He spent the 1950s touring with his own bands, working in Chicago, Minneapolis, Las Vegas, Calif., and elsewhere. He worked with The Billy Williams Revue in the early 1960s, and also toured with own big band. From the late 1960s through the 1980s, he worked mainly in Denver, leading a hotel combo.
Henderson was a fine writer and pianist. More than 30 of his arrangements were incorporated into his brother’s band, among them “Hot and Anxious” and “Comin’ and Goin,” and the popular “Christopher Columbus.” He also led a small splinter group in the early 1930s for recordings. “Hot and Anxious” briefly included the traditional riff that would eventually be recorded by the Glenn Miller Orch. on “In the Mood.”
—John Chilton Who’s who of Jazz/Lewis Porter