How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
With Pots And Kettles, veteran saxophonist Woody Witt cooks up a tasty menu of contemporary and modern jazz main dishes on his third album for the Blue Bamboo Music label, but his eight overall as leader. A professor of Jazz Studies at Houston Community College and an Affiliate Artist at the University of Houston Moores School of Music, Dr. Witt is not only an outstanding musician, but an educator by profession.
Offering a variety of plates serving from traditional jazz modes like "The Loop" and "Loose Change," to the Eddie Harris
soul jazz classic, "Listen Here," the album presents a solid variety of styles and textures. Two pieces feature a taste of the blues: "Crying Blues;" and "Slink"a chart from pianist Gary Norian, with whom Witt has known and performed for the last twelve years. Elsewhere, Witt lays down gorgeous soprano phrases on another Norian tune, "Heart First."
The several course meals continues with two appetizingly light ballads: Witt's "Just Because"; and the fifth Norian contribution to this disc and session closer, "Never Very Far." Witt is prolific on tenor as well as soprano, delivering dazzling lines on each and every track. Using a quartet of players as the main format, the rhythm section of bassist Anthony Sapp and drummer Marc Simmons are joined by guitarist Chris Cortez
Witt serves up a delicious musical menu, worth consuming often, on the sparkling Pots And Kettles. Peppered by his more than appreciable saxophonist chops, the superb musicianship and fresh material seems more than adequate to fill a hunger for the best in jazz.
Track Listing: Pot and Kettles; Listen Here; Slink; Heart First; The Loop; Crying Blues; Just Because; The Deprivator; Loose Change; Never Very Far.
Personnel: Woody Witt: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Gary Norian: piano; Mark Simmons: drums; Anthony Sapp: bass; Chris Cortez: guitar (2, 6, 9).