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Saxophonist Bobby Watson brings the sparks on ‘Again House in Kansas Metropolis’ : NPR


After many years in New York, Watson has returned to Kansas Metropolis. The core KC jazz values — a swinging beat, a private type, and an earthy, bluesy sensibility — are firmly in place on this new album.



DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

That is FRESH AIR. Alto saxophonist Bobby Watson got here up in drummer Artwork Blakey’s ending faculty, The Jazz Messengers, and has recorded dozens of extremely acclaimed albums since. After many years understanding of New York, Bobby Watson returned to Kansas Metropolis, close to the place he grew up. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says he sounds proper at house.

(SOUNDBITE OF BOBBY WATSON’S “BACK HOME IN KANSAS CITY”)

KEVIN WHITEHEAD, BYLINE: Bobby Watson on the title monitor of his album “Again House In Kansas Metropolis.” That alto saxophonist at all times brings the sparks. So does crackling visitor trumpeter Jeremy Pelt, who typically solos on his heels. On that very same tune, Watson caps his twisty solo with a useful hand-off, ending with a shapely phrase the trumpeter can launch his solo from.

(SOUNDBITE OF BOBBY WATSON’S “BACK HOME IN KANSAS CITY”)

WHITEHEAD: Jeremy Pelt on trumpet. Chief Bobby Watson is proudly within the jazz custom. He follows widespread observe by writing new melodies on the chords to previous ones. So Watson’s “Again House In Kansas Metropolis” is predicated on “Again House In Indiana,” and his “Facet Steps” on John Coltrane’s “Big Steps.” “Bon Voyage” transparently lifts from Herbie Hancock’s “Maiden Voyage.” However then Watson throws a curve. The improvising shifts to a Cuban type montuno, the place Cyrus Chestnut vamps on piano. That is Victor Jones on drums.

(SOUNDBITE OF BOBBY WATSON’S “BON VOYAGE”)

WHITEHEAD: The alto saxophone desires to sing. And Bobby Watson coaxes out its candy, searing and squawky tones of voice, fine-tuning his pitch to make the horn sound brighter or darker. His soul-ups (ph) gallop alongside, although he can get momentarily sidetracked exploring within the second. Watson is an actual improviser, searching for contemporary angles, as on the usual ballad “I am Glad There Is You.”

(SOUNDBITE OF BOBBY WATSON’S “I’M GLAD THERE IS YOU”)

WHITEHEAD: The album title, “Again House In Kansas Metropolis,” alerts a reaffirmation of previous connections. The bass participant is Curtis Lundy, a Watson ally since faculty days. Household ties come to the fore on Bobby’s slinky ballad “Our Love Stays,” with lyrics about continuity over time by his spouse, Pamela Watson. The singer is the bassist’s sister these younger musicians had backed – Carmen Lundy.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “OUR LOVE REMAINS”)

BOBBY WATSON: (Singing) Wanting again on the years, on the ache and the tears that may fall by all of it – our love stays.

WHITEHEAD: Bobby Watson is certainly again house in Kansas Metropolis, although that is been true for a few many years. It isn’t like he is simply settling in. Actually the core Kansas Metropolis jazz values – a swinging beat, a private type, and an earthy, bluesy sensibility – are all firmly in place.

(SOUNDBITE OF BOBBY WATSON’S “RED BANK HEIST”)

DAVIES: Kevin Whitehead is the writer of the ebook “Play The Means You Really feel: The Important Information To Jazz Tales On Movie.” And he writes for Level of Departure and The Audio Beat. He reviewed “Again House In Kansas Metropolis” by saxophonist Bobby Watson. On tomorrow’s present, Evan Osnos tells us the story of a mysterious Chinese language billionaire who emigrated to the U.S. and have become a significant benefactor of Steve Bannon and efforts to overturn the result of the 2020 presidential election. Osnos writes concerning the man, who promoted his causes with livestreamed movies and a hip-hop track, in an article in The New Yorker. I hope you’ll be able to be a part of.

FRESH AIR’s govt producer is Danny Miller. Our technical director and engineer is Audrey Bentham. Our interviews and evaluations are produced and edited by Amy Salit, Phyllis Myers, Sam Briger, Lauren Krenzel, Heidi Saman, Therese Madden, Ann Marie Baldonado, Thea Chaloner, Seth Kelley and Susan Nyakundi. Our digital media producer is Molly Seavy-Nesper. Roberta Shorrock directs the present. For Terry Gross, I am Dave Davies.

(SOUNDBITE OF BOBBY WATSON’S “RED BANK HEIST”)

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