Home » Jazz Articles » Ken & Harry Watters: Brothers

164
Album Review

Ken & Harry Watters: Brothers

By

Sign in to view read count
Ken & Harry Watters: Brothers
“Brothers”: Ken and Harry Watters is a fine new release by these Huntsville, Alabama natives. Ken, a post-bop Trumpet maestro has appeared on 25 CDs and has performed with the likes of: Sinatra, Herbie Mann, Terry Gibbs, Mike Stern and even the pop group “The Fifth Dimension”. Harry Watters served as graduate assistant under Ellis Marsalis at the University of New Orleans and besides stints with the US Army Blues Jazz Ensemble also spent four years performing with those venerable “Dukes of Dixieland”. Slightly diverse and contrasting careers come to fruition here on this splendid and extremely gratifying recording. As mainstream jazz continues to plot its course, the Brothers Ken and Harry Watters have rekindled spirits of years gone by with remarkable grace and craftsmanship.

Ken Watter’s “The Girls Back Home” is a sentimental yet up-lifting piece featuring an especially charming melody line. “The Girls Back Home” sparks vivid imagery of perhaps being on the road for too long or fighting the enemy overseas. This piece could easily serve as an opening theme for a TV mini-series or Big Screen film production. Hopefully, Jazz radio will come to its senses and give this track some air-time ......The classic “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You” features lush, romantic Trombone work from Harry Watters who also utilizes extended notes and vibrato to full effect. The wonderful Kenny Werner was the perfect choice for the Piano chair. Werner brings elegance and flawless expertise to the table. Werner and Harry Watters take us to a ballroom in a fancy hotel somewhere as the evocative lucid imagery suggests fantasy and enchantment. The brothers step up the pace with a swinging and driving version of “Autumn Leaves”. Harry’s warm tone yet amazingly fast chops provoke Ken’s seasoned big band “sharpshooter” style Trumpet bravado. Ken Watters is an exceptionally fine technician who reminds this writer of the great Marvin Stamm. Ken Watter’s composition “Diversion” is yet another upbeat and appealing tune that features the brothers engaging in majestic choruses that are polished by design yet at times, sound loose and care free. “Diversion” features a pleasing and memorable hook that represents yet another candidate for a Film soundtrack. It has that “right stuff” (These guys may be onto something here!) “Moonlight in Vermont” swings as Harry and Ken display brilliant execution with swift verses and captivating motifs. Ken plays his muted Trumpet with a vengeance and again displays total command of his instrument. Werner, Bassist Scott Colley and Drummer Scott Neuman provide superb yet sympathetic support here and throughout the entire affair. On “Moonlight in Vermont” Werner takes a heated Piano solo while Colley “ runs” as opposed to walking the Bass line. The Brothers give the classic “Body and Soul” a medium-tempo lift and perform soulful versions of Harold Arlen’s “Over The Rainbow” and Ellington’s “In A Sentimental Mood”.

Brothers: Ken and Harry Watters are a class act. Superb musicianship, sparkling treatments of Twentieth Century classics and exceptional original compositions mark this outing as an early top 10 contender. These pieces are fresh, contemporary sounding and aurally stimulating. A truly fine if not surprising effort from two guys who have probably made decent livings supporting name acts. Highly Recommended.

Track Listing

The Girls Back Home; I

Personnel

Ken Watters- trumpet; Harry Watters- trombone; Kenny Werner- piano; Scott Colley- acoustic bass; Scott Neumann- drums.

Album information

Title: Brothers | Year Released: 1999


FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZ
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

WE NEED YOUR HELP
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Post a comment about this album

Tags

More

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.