Quietly spoken, laidback and amiable, Brooklyn-born and church-raised CORY HENRY exudes the relaxed demeanour and easy nonchalance of someone who's supremely confident in his ability and knows what he wants to do in life as well as exactly where he's going. Though prodigiously talented as a keyboard player - he started playing the organ in church at two years old and by the time he was six he was competing in Amateur Night at the legendary Apollo Theater - he hasn't let his special gift go to his head and possesses a well-formed and disarming sense of humility. A core member of Grammy-winning jazz-funk-fusion group, SNARKY PUPPY, his CV includes sessions with everyone from P. Diddy, Yolanda Adams and Aretha Franklin to Kenny Garrett, Michael McDonald and Bruce Springsteen.
Recently, 29-year-old Henry released his third solo album, 'The Revival' via Ground UP. It was recorded live at the Greater Temple Of Praise in Brooklyn, the place of worship where Henry honed his chops on the Hammond organ as a youngster and finds the keyboard maven going back to his gospel roots with a largely solo organ recital. From a technical perspective, Henry's pyrotechnics are awe-inspiring but, crucially, he music is highly emptive and infused with profound feeling. His repertoire, though, isn't restricted to church music and includes songs by John Coltrane, Stevie Wonder and The Beatles. "I've listened to all types of music my whole life - when I was in the house and even when I was going to the park," says Henry, explaining his eclectic taste. "Once I listened to it, I figured I could play it on the organ. I think everybody's influences come out in their music if they listen to them long enough." He admits, though, that inspirational music - his sonic foundation stone - played a huge part in his musical development. "It's very, very important. It gave me a chance to learn music in ways other people can't," he divulges. Indeed, some might imagine that the gospel environment could be musically restrictive one but young Henry's interest in other forms of music was never curtailed or frowned upon. "I was afforded opportunities to play all different types of music at every church that I played for - and not a lot of people can say that," he says with a tinge of pride in his voice.
In conversation with SJF's Charles Waring ahead of his upcoming four-date tour of the UK, the keyboard player talks about different aspects of his life and music, including his role in Snarky Puppy and the formation of his own band, THE FUNK APOSTLES...
Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 May 2016 18:34