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by Mark Robbins
From 1977 to 1981, Bobby Watson was a student at the University of Blakey," otherwise known as the Jazz Messengers led by drummer Art Blakey. After graduation," Watson went on to become an acclaimed alto saxophonist, sought out by instrumentalist and vocalists alike while he led his own band, Horizon. Now, in addition to a fulltime touring schedule, Watson is the director of jazz studies at the University of Missouri-Kansas City's Conservatory of Music and Dance. When Watson ...read more
by Mark F. Turner
An esteemed alto saxophonist, Bobby Watson serves up some down to the bone" goodness in The Gates BBQ Suite. The seven-part suite for large ensemble features the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music & Dance Concert Jazz Orchestra, and is a heartfelt tribute to Watson's hometown of Kansas City--the people, the culture, and tastes, which includes the area's landmark Gates Barbecue restaurant. Watson's big band masterwork epitomizes an illustrious career of more than 25 years, with ...read more
by Robert Bush
Bobby Watson Quartet Saville Theater (San Diego City College) San Diego, CA May 11, 2010 Currently based in Kansas City, where he teaches at the University of Missouri/ Conservatory of Music, Bobby Watson has a long, storied career. He attended music school in Miami in the 1970's, where his classmates included Pat Metheny, Jaco Pastorius, Mike Stern, and Mark Egan. After leaving school, he joined the legendary Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, serving ...read more
by Victor L. Schermer
Bobby Watson QuartetJazz Up Close: Kind of Blue Turns 50Honoring Cannonball Adderly and John Coltrane, SaxophonesKimmel Center Perelman TheaterPhiladelphia, PennsylvaniaMarch 28, 2009The great Bobby Watson, still in mid-life" at age 53, is a seasoned heavy" on the alto sax whose playing echoes saxophone greats from Phil Woods to Cannonball Adderley, as well as tenor titans Dexter Gordon to Sonny Rollins, yet with his own incomparable virtuosity. Something must have been in ...read more
by Francis Lo Kee
It would be enough just to comment on the wonderful music on this CD, recorded in the unique and encouraging setting of a June 2003 house concert," yet it also must be noted that this is probably one of the last recordings of the great pianist James Williams, who passed away in July 2004 at the age of 52. The feelings throughout the record are warm, respectful (audience to musicians, musicians to each other), humorous, poignant; you ...read more
by Russ Musto
Saxophonist Bobby Watson believes, like his former boss Art Blakey did, that making people feel good is one of the vital functions of jazz. Horizon always made music that was extremely exciting, which made its demise after five major label releases (now all out of print) doubly disappointing. Horizon Reassembled picks up where the band left off more than ten years ago, with the same personnel, which has now achieved all-star status. Trumpeter Terrell Stafford, pianist Edward Simon, bassist Essiet ...read more
by Jim Santella
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 ...read more