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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ernie Watts: A Simple Truth

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After sixteen albums as leader, two-time Grammy-Award-winning saxophonist Ernie Watts presents a concept album, a journey of sorts, a musical description of a “jazz day" beginning with a morning piece and ending with an evening song in declaration of A Simple Truth. Recorded in Cologne, Germany, with his touring European quartet--together for over fifteen years--Watts imagines the music as being “basics that connects people, going right past language, ethnicity, culture and even history, into direct feeling," which is the simple truth the music in this audacious recording, is designed to reveal. Another revelation immediately evident as one samples ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ernie Watts: A Simple Truth

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The title of Ernie Watt's seventh release on his Flying Dolphin label reflects the tenor great's guiding philosophy, as he explained in a recent interview for dublinjazz.ie: “We are creating our reality all day every day by the thoughts that we think and by the things that we say and by our belief systems. It's a very clear and simple path." For Watts, this path has translated, on average, into two hours practice virtually every day for the past fifty three years. Such dedication to his art is clear every time Watts plays and prompted journalist Nat Hentoff to speak ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ernie Watts Quartet: Oasis

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Setting up Flying Dolphin Records in 2004 has given tenor saxophonist Ernie Watts wings. After 35 years calling on an ever-changing array of some of the greatest names in jazz to play on his records, Watts has now settled into two quartets: his American and European groups. The continuity of these ensembles and the complete artistic freedom that he's wrestled free have resulted in some of his strongest recordings. Four Plus Four (Flying Dolphin Records, 2009), To the Point-Live at the Jazz Bakery (Flying Dolphin Records, 2008), Spirit Song (Flying Dolphin Records, 2005), and Analog Man (Flying Dolphin Records, 2007)--winner ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Ernie Watts: Bangkok, Thailand, June 18, 2011

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Ernie WattsThe Living RoomSheraton Grande HotelBangkok, ThailandJune 18, 2011 It's been celebration time this past month at The Living Room in the Sheraton Grande Hotel--Bangkok's best jazz venue--as it celebrates 10 years of hosting concerts. Veteran tenor saxophonist Ernie Watts provided the main highlight, serving up serious musical muscle for four nights, with long-time musical collaborator Jeremy Monteiro on piano, drummer Shawn Kelley and bassist Christy Smith making up a potent, swinging quartet. This acoustically warm, embracing venue provided high quality international jazz of a mostly regional face, almost nightly for four ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Ernie Watts, Jeremy Monteiro & Organamix: Chamber at the Arts House, Singapore

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Ernie Watts, Jeremy Monteiro & OrganamixChamber at the Arts HouseSingaporeJuly 31, 2010 As Jeremy Monteiro's composition “One People, One Nation, One Singapore" filled the air, jet planes roared at supersonic speed overhead followed by formations of helicopters. Armored personnel carriers and tanks rolled down the streets and fireworks filled the sky. This is not a typical set-up for a Monteiro gig. It had been his fiftieth birthday celebration recently and sax legend Ernie Watts was in town--both reasons to celebrate--but no, this was a dry run for the upcoming Singapore National Day--Singapore takes its ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ernie Watts: To The Point - Live at the Jazz Bakery

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Recorded live at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles, To The Point is the first non-studio recording of Ernie Watts' longtime quartet. Together for over 20 years, they have a cohesion and musical empathy that is palpable. The musically eclectic Watts has toured with The Rolling Stones and played in settings from Carmen McRae to Jean-Luc Ponty. A Grammy winner for his performance on the soundtrack of Chariots of Fire (1981), Watts is best known for his work with bassist Charlie Haden's Quartet West. This set showcases Watts as a composer (all but two of tunes are his own) and ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Ernie Watts: To the Point - Live at the Jazz Bakery

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Ernie WattsTo The Point - Live At The Jazz BakeryFlying Dolphin Records2008

After hearing saxophonist Ernie Watts' CD To The Point - Live At The Jazz Bakey , it's easy to imagine that he possesses superhuman talents similar to those held by members of the fictional Fantastic Four. He breathes fire, can cool with ice, whip up a storm, and shape his sax sound in ways otherworldly. This is a powerful, yet sensitive, technically Herculean, yet human, complex yet elegantly beautiful player--no, a marvel.

Soloing as an intro to the ...



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