Bassist, composer, arranger, leader and music educator AL HENDERSON, (MFA Musicology, 1983) formed various groups under his own name as a way to perform and record his numerous original jazz compositions with nearly ninety of his compositions being on commercially available recordings. Geoff Chapman wrote “…a formidable bandleader…and composer…” (Whole Note May 27, 2010). In 1995 he was recognized both as the Jazz Report Composer of the Year and winner of the prestigious SOCAN Award for Original Jazz Composition for the large work “Ellingtonia”. His compositions have appeared on recordings by the Al Henderson Septet, Sextet, Quintet, and Quartet, Time Warp, Barry Romberg’s Random Access, Richard Whiteman, Alex Dean, Don Pullen & Jane Bunnett, and Shox Johnson & the Jive Bombers.
Al’s fifth and most recent recording, Taiga (CRST 138), features his regular quintet with Alex Dean (saxes, bass clarinet), Pat LaBarbera (saxes, narration), pianist Richard Whiteman and drummer Barry Romberg. Baritone saxophonist David Mott appears as a guest artist on three tracks while noted cellists Matt Brubeck and Mark Chambers, first heard with the group on Regeneration (CRST CD132) which received a Juno nomination in 2010 for Traditional Jazz Album of the Year return for three others.
Al has performed as a sideman over the years with many jazz artists and is also the coleader of the influential group Time Warp, one of Canada’s longest running jazz ensembles with multiple Juno nominations and awards to their credit. The group has released nine recordings, played across Canada as well as in the US and Venezuela.
An Associate Professor of music at York University in Toronto, Al has served as Graduate Program Director (Interim), Jazz Area Coordinator and Director of the York University Jazz Orchestra and teaches at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. As coowner of Cornerstone Records Inc. since 1993, the label has released thirty-eight jazz recordings with several more soon to be released.