Bobby Watson & Horizon: Horizon Reassembled (2004)
With this reunion, Horizon weaves a cohesive web of sultry serenades that call out softly. Rhythmically adventurous and harmonically complex, they wrap their performance in comfortable tones and pleasant melodies. Front liners Bobby Watson and Terrell Stafford keep the session amiable, as they waft delicate solos fore and aft with fluid motion. Like a ship at sea, the band forms a cohesive unit that sways together with natural affinity.
An underlying love of the blues pervades. As Watson purrs softly on “The Love We Had Yesterday,” you can feel the emotion. This one comes straight from the heart. Reflecting on good memories, he and Stafford bare their souls. This kind of openness lets the listener enter the band’s inner circle. Horizon takes you by the hand and reassures.
The hard rockin’, street boppin’ influence that Art Blakey has had on this band makes itself known as well. Jimmy Heath’s “Ginger Bread Boy” and Victor Lewis’ “Eeeyyess” pierce the fabric of sensuality through Horizon’s passion for straight-ahead moves. Collectively, they usher in elements from jazz’s history, while running confidently with fresh energy.
Latin jazz enters Horizon’s scene through several hot entries. “The Look of Love” is delivered soberly with a genuine frankness. “Dark Days” portrays the sensuality that comes with extended periods of loneliness. There’s plenty of time for reflection, but we’re caught up in a waiting game.
Watson’s “Horizon Reassembled” summarizes the band’s direction, with a cool melodic wave atop its bubbling rhythms. Fast and slow. Cool and hot. Smooth melodies over complex rhythms. It all comes together for a ton of fun and a love for the art of jazz.
Track Listing: Lemoncello; Pere; The Love We Had Yesterday; Ginger Bread Boy; Horizon Reassembled; The Look of Love; Eeeyyess; Permanoon; Dark Days; Dark Days (interlude); Xangongo.
Personnel: Bobby Watson- alto saxophone; Terrell Stafford- trumpet, flugelhorn; Edward Simon- piano; Essiet Essiet- bass; Victor Lewis- drums.