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From the Heart

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Album Review

Bobby Watson credits Art Blakey with showing him the ropes through the apprentice system, which included recruiting up-and-coming musicians, giving them advice, plus encouraging the younger players to write charts and originals for the band. Watson's Live & Learn band is such a format, a successor to his earlier on-again, off-again Horizon, with one former member back in the fold in bassist Curtis Lundy. The alto saxophonist has changed the format slightly, expanding his quintet to add vibes, played ably by Warren Wolf, with pianist Harold O'Neal, trumpeter Leron Thomas, and drummer Quincy Davis all showing promising signs of players who are likely to make lasting impressions on the jazz scene. Watson contributed six originals, including the hip, tasty riff tune "Wilkes BBQ," the perky "Deep Pockets," and the humorous Latin-flavored post-bop "Aye Caramba." O'Neal contributed the richly textured ballad "Purple Flowers" and the intricate "Timeless," while Wolf penned the lush "For Milt" (which is likely for the late vibraphonist Milt Jackson). Thomas' "Marcus Vein" provides an intense cooker to wrap this outstanding session.

Customer Reviews

Wilkes BBQ is smokin'

The entire album is good, but Wilkes BBQ is Smokin'. The best jazz piece i've heard in years, it bops, it swings, it will have you dancing in your seat on the subway, listening to your Ipod!!!!


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,...
Full Bio