Harry Watters: Out Of A Dream - Love Songs (2005)
How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Harry Watters is a youthful slide trombonist who offers a welcome remembrance of the golden days of bebop and afterwards, when J.J. Johnson set the standards for the instrument. These nine tracks exhibit his impressive range and fleetness, and the listener will quickly think of the many qualified 'bone players who have been recording over the past few decades. His style lies closer to Bill Watrous and Steve Davis than Steve Turre.
Watters is a graduate of the University of North Texas who also spent four years with the Dukes of Dixieland and currently works with two military organizations (the Army Blues Jazz Ensemble and the United States Army Brass Quintet). He has recorded three previous albums on Summit with brother Ken Watters, a trumpet/flugelhornist. Out Of A Dream allows ample time for Watters to show his familiarity and comfort level with the Great American Songbook. While it's subtitled Love Songs, it should be noted that at least a few of these songs are taken up-tempo and that there are errors on the jacket listings ("Am I Blue," When My Dreamboat Comes Home," "You Stepped Out of a Dream," and "Angel Eyes" are all incorrectly located).
Nonetheless, Watters and his quartet provide a tasty appreciation of the standards. Ballads like "My One and Only Love" and "Angel Eyes" seem just tailor-made for Watters' rich delivery and the combination of definitive jazz trombone and timeless melody mesh perfectly. "All The Things You Are" and "You Stepped Out of A Dream" are both taken up-tempo, and the latter features some good solo work by bassist Glenn Dewey and pianist Dan Roberts.
The finished project is a most enjoyable listen which lacks any surprises. At the very least, it is comparable to similar quartet recordings produced by labels like Concord over the past few decades by some sigificantly higher-priced artists.
Track Listing: All The Things You Are, Am I Blue, But Beautiful, Just Squeeze Me, My One And Only Love, Night and Day, When My Dreamboat Comes Home, You Stepped Out of A Dream, Angel Eyes
Personnel: Harry Watters, trombone; Dan Roberts, piano; Glenn Dewey, bass; Steve Fidyk, drums.
Record Label: Summit Records