235

Trevor Watts: Burundi Monday

Francis Lo Kee By

Sign in to view read count
Trevor Watts: Burundi Monday American listeners may know Trevor Watts as an accomplished alto/soprano saxophonist, but more likely they will associate him with the British avant-garde.

Now in his late sixties, Watts logged a lot of time with blues, rock and traditional jazz bands before joining drummer John Stevens in 1965 to form the Spontaneous Music Ensemble (SME), a collective that provided a launching pad for many visionary British free improvisers—from Watts to Dave Holland, Kenny Wheeler, Derek Bailey and Barry Guy.

Burundi Monday, recorded live in 1983 by the Trevor Watts Drum Orchestra (put together in the 1980s) presents to our more contemporary ears a fresh, exciting and focused example of mostly improvised music. The two tracks ("Burundi Monday clocking in at near thirty-five minutes and "Double Up just under half that length) reveal the huge difference in approach between the Drum Orchestra's layering of a groove foundation and the more illustrious, unpredictable SME.

Here we hear a side of Watts' playing and listening skills that might not have been so evident elsewhere. There's more of his background in traditional jazz and blues as well as the obvious penchant for African music: far from a simple appropriation of stylistic affectations, it's heartfelt music played with deep musical skill, yet open to spontaneity.

The players are outstanding, including surprises in violinist Peter Knight (known more for his work in the British trad-folk-rock band Steeleye Span) and drummer Liam Genockey (also more from the rock world). Both contribute wonderfully to the total concept with a special melodic interplay.

Bassist Ernest Mothle also contributes greatly to the overall sound, working with a multi- dimensional approach that invokes Jaco Pastorius' electric chops and Charlie Haden's floating, harmonic directions. This first-time issue is a real find.

Track Listing: Burundi Monday; Double Up.

Personnel: Trevor Watts: saxophone; Peter Knight: violin; Mmaid Kamara and Nana Tsiboe: African percussion; Ernest Mothle; Liam Genockey: drums.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: FMR Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 25, 2017
Read Reflections CD/LP/Track Review Reflections
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 25, 2017
Read Back In Your Own Backyard CD/LP/Track Review Back In Your Own Backyard
by Budd Kopman
Published: March 25, 2017
Read Greatest Licks - I Feel Like Singin' CD/LP/Track Review Greatest Licks - I Feel Like Singin'
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 25, 2017
Read Through The Glass CD/LP/Track Review Through The Glass
by Nicola Negri
Published: March 25, 2017
Read Circles CD/LP/Track Review Circles
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 24, 2017
Read "Sunrain" CD/LP/Track Review Sunrain
by Geno Thackara
Published: November 25, 2016
Read "My Iris" CD/LP/Track Review My Iris
by Fiona Ord-Shrimpton
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Pittsburgh" CD/LP/Track Review Pittsburgh
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 23, 2016
Read "Linus + Skarbø / Leroux" CD/LP/Track Review Linus + Skarbø / Leroux
by Dave Wayne
Published: April 21, 2016
Read "Reflections in Cosmo" CD/LP/Track Review Reflections in Cosmo
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 16, 2017
Read "Transcience" CD/LP/Track Review Transcience
by Budd Kopman
Published: August 14, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: DOT TIME RECORDS | BUT IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!