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iTunes Review

Check Cashing Day marked the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech (the album title is a reference to King announcing it was time to cash the equality check written into the Declaration of Independence by the country’s forefathers). Featuring a quintet and two vocalists, the music here hews pretty closely to mainstream bebop, with trumpeter Hermon Mehari and pianist Richard Johnson also getting plenty of solo time alongside Watson’s saxophone. Musical standouts include the melodic and midtempo “Sweet Dreams” and “At the Crossroads.” Nonetheless, it’s the voice of poet Glenn North that sets this apart. He strikes a nice tone between anger and uplift, speaking vivid lines on several pieces but most effectively on the title cut, “Black Is Back,” and “Revival (Ovedia).” Gospel singer Mahalia Jackson was with King for that speech, and here her role is filled by singer Pamela Baskin-Watson, who shines on Ellington’s “Come Sunday” (the lone cover) and her own “Seekers of the Sun.” Sometimes great music can have a message.

Customer Reviews

Jazzy Poetry

If u like jazz and poetry get this. If u just like one or the other, get this. Basically, just a good CD

An American Treasure

Bobby Watson's incredible work is always impressive, entertaining and creative.

One of our greats.



Born: August 23, 1953 in Lawrence, KS

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Saxophonist, composer, producer, and educator Bobby Watson grew up in Kansas City, KS. As a consequence, his playing is steeped in the roadhouse blues tradition of his native city. He got his formal education at the University of Miami, where his fellow students included Pat Metheny, Jaco Pastorious, and Bruce Hornsby. The college has a distinguished, long-running, and well-respected jazz performance program. After he was graduated in 1975, he moved to New York City, the jazz capitol of the world,...
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Check Cashing Day, Bobby Watson
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