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 Watson purrs softly on “The Love We Had Yesterday,” you can feel the emotion. This one comes straight from the heart. Reflecting on good memories, he and Stafford bare their souls. This kind of openness lets the listener enter the band’s inner circle. Horizon takes you by the hand and reassures.
The hard rockin’, street boppin’ influence that Art Blakey has had on this band makes itself known as well. Jimmy Heath’s “Ginger Bread Boy” and Victor Lewis’ “Eeeyyess” pierce the fabric of sensuality through Horizon’s passion for straight-ahead moves. Collectively, they usher in elements from jazz’s history, while running confidently with fresh energy.
Latin jazz enters Horizon’s scene through several hot entries. “The Look of Love” is delivered soberly with a genuine frankness. “Dark Days” portrays the sensuality that comes with extended periods of loneliness. There’s plenty of time for reflection, but we’re caught up in a waiting game.
Watson’s “Horizon Reassembled” summarizes the band’s direction, with a cool melodic wave atop its bubbling rhythms. Fast and slow. Cool and hot. Smooth melodies over complex rhythms. It all comes together for a ton of fun and a love for the art of jazz.
Track Listing: Lemoncello; Pere; The Love We Had Yesterday; Ginger Bread Boy; Horizon Reassembled; The Look of Love; Eeeyyess; Permanoon; Dark Days; Dark Days (interlude); Xangongo
Personnel: Bobby Watson (alto saxophone), Terrell Stafford (trumpet, flugelhorn), Edward Simon (piano), Essiet Essiet (bass), Victor Lewis (drums)
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith. We hung out at my Aunt Kate's Soul Food restaurant in Harlem after the matinees at the Apollo where I listened to their stories. I knew I wanted to be a jazz musician from then on. My mother wanted me to play piano, but my Aunt bought me a guitar. I've been playing ever since.
At my mother's early prompting, I first sang Blue Velvet at my Catholic elementary school...and all the nuns came running in and asked me to sing again, so I knew I must have sounded pretty good. I've been singing ever since.
I met Tony Bennett in Miami and he inspired me to return to New York. He was a great mentor.
The best show I ever attended is mpossible to say, I've seen so many great shows. From Tony Bennett to Pat Martino, Return to Forever to Weather Report...I've seen some great performances.
My advice to new listeners is don't let jazz intimidate you, the music has something for every listener and it is our American gift to the world.