In 1984, Hendryx again collaborated with Laswell on The Art of Defense. She returned one year later with Heat, produced by Arthur Baker. The latter album featured a stellar cast of players: guitarists Ronnie Drayton and Keith Richards, bassists Doug Wimbish and Bernard Edwards, saxophonist Lenny Pickett, and vocalists Will Downing and Gang of Four's Hugo Burnham. Female Trouble appeared in 1987 with a slew of producers, and featured guest spots from Gabriel and David Van Tieghem.
In 1989, Hendryx shifted gears; she issued the almost solely keyboard-driven Skin Diver on former Tangerine Dream member Peter Baumann's Private Music label. After a three-year break, Hendryx surprised again with You Have to Cry Sometime, in 1992. The album, a collection of soul covers in collaboration with Billy Vera, was issued as part of a benefit offering 50% of its profits to the Rhythm and Blues Foundation charity. Exhausted by touring, switching labels, and the changing nature of the music business in general, she stopped releasing her own records for the remainder of the decade.
LaBelle reunited in 2007 and issued Back to Now on Verve in 2008. The set was produced by the legendary Philadelphia International team of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, and included several Hendryx compositions. She also scored playwright Charles R. Wright's Blue, guested on Terri Lynne Carrington's Mosaic Project album, and contributed a cut to the soundtrack for the film Precious.
Apparently, the Labelle reunion was the impetus for Hendryx to begin recording and touring as a solo artist again. In 2011, she released the jazz-funk album It's Time, in collaboration with Kahil El'zabar's Ethnics, to critical acclaim. In the summer of 2012, she followed with the self-produced Mutatis Mutandis, for Ani DiFranco's Righteous Babe label. Hendryx collaborated with eclectic guitarist Gary Lucas for the 2017 album The World of Captain Beefheart, featuring new interpretations of the music of the experimental rock icon. ~ John Dougan & Thom Jurek, Rovi
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