Ernie Watts: Flying High

Ian Patterson By

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AAJ:Is there one overriding message that you try to get across in these workshops?

EW: The basic message is always freedom through discipline. You can't break the rules until you know the rules. My whole playing concept and the way I think about music comes from the discipline, you know, really learning your instrument well and learning about music so that you have a good vocabulary. Your ability to play the instrument is very firmly rooted and so when you play you are free, you have the freedom to express yourself.

It comes down to practice; it's about spending time with your instrument. It's a hands-on thing. That shouldn't be any problem because you're playing music because you love music. You should want to play your instrument as much as you can because it brings you joy. Why should practice be drudgery? It's an opportunity to do something that you love.

Selected Discography

Ernie Watts Quartet, Analog Man (Flying Dolphin Records, 2007)
Jeremy Monteiro, Homecoming (Jazznote, 2006)
Ernie Watts Quartet, Spirit Song (Flying Dolphin Records, 2005)
Ernie Watts Quartet, Alive (Flying Dolphin Records, 2004)
Ernie Watts/Ron Feuer, Reflections (Adventure Productions, 2003)
Ernie Watts/Christof Sanger, Blue Topaz (Laika Records, 2000)
Ernie Watts, Classic Moods (JVC, 1998)
Ernie Watts, The Long Road Home (JVC, 1996)
Ernie Watts, Unity (JVC, 1995)
Ernie Watts, Reaching Up (JVC, 1994)
Ernie Watts/Gilberto Gil, Afoxe (CTI Records, 1991)
Charlie Haden Quartet West, Always say Goodbye (UMG, 1993)
Charlie Haden, Haunted Heart (Verve, 1990)
Charlie Haden Quartet West, (Verve, 1987)
Ernie Watts, Sanctuary (Qwest Records, 1986)
Ernie Watts, Musician (Qwest Records, 1985)
Ernie Watts, Chariots of Fire (Qwest Records, 1982)
Cannonball Adderley Quartet, Music, You All (Capital, 1972)
Frank Zappa, The Grand Wazoo (Zappa Records, 1972)
Richard Groove Holmes/Ernie Watts, Come Together (World Pacific Jazz, 1970)
James Brown, Soul on Top (Verve, 1970)
Jean-Luc Ponty, King Kong (World Pacific Jazz, 1969)
Buddy Rich, Buddy and Soul (Pacific Jazz, 1969)
Thelonious Monk, Monk's Blues (Sony, 1968)
Buddy Rich, Big Swing Face (Blue Note, 1967)

Photo Credits
Top Photo: William Clayton, courtesy of Ernie Watts

Bottom Photo: Patricia Watts

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