For decades, the Los Angeles jazz community has been fortunate to have bass player Henry 'The Skipper' Franklin in their midst. He's a paragon of jazz consistency, as trusty as they come. The best musicians living in the area or visiting the area have called on this technically-assured bass player for gigs and/or recording dates: Ornette Coleman, Sonny Rollins, Archie Shepp, Freddie Hubbard, Roswell Rudd, Hugh Masekela, Willie Bobo, the list stretches on and on. Franklin even turns up on the gold record Stevie Wonder's Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants.
Franklin's made about two dozen albums under his own name and led his own bands on countless scores of performances in leading clubs. Franklin first made his mark in the early 1970s. The Los Angeles native was in a funky swing-bebop trio with pianist Hampton Hawes and drummer Michael Carvin that traveled to Europe, where they were recorded for one of the best concert records of the day, Live in Montreux 71. These same three worthies joined with expatriated saxophonist Dexter Gordon in Paris for yet another splendid record, Live at the Montmartre. Franklin also got around to making his first headlining record, The Skipper, assisted by seven Los Angeles players, notably trumpeter Oscar Brashear, saxophonist Charles Owen, electric pianist Bill Henderson and drummer Carvin." --Frank-John Hadley, Downbeat; Personnel: Henry Franklin (Fender & upright bass), Charles Owens (tenor sax & soprano), Oscar Brashear (trumpet & flugelhorn), Bill Henderson (electric piano), Kenny Climax (guitar & electric tub), Michael Carvin (drums), Fred Lido & Tip Jones (percussion).