All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

127

Bobby Watson and Horizon: Horizon Reassembled

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Bobby Watson is not a new name to the scene. With a résumé that includes tenure with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in the early ‘80s, as well as various ensembles led by Wynton Marsalis, his robust alto sound has been well represented on over a hundred albums as a guest and nearly twenty-five recordings as a leader. But it is arguably with his mid-‘90s group, Horizon, where he made his most compelling statement. Ten years after the last recording with the group, Watson has reconvened all original members for Horizon Reassembled , which proves that when you have a winning combination, the passage of time is irrelevant. It sounds as thought they’ve never been apart.

What made, and continue to make, Horizon such a distinctive band were qualities that all bands aspire to, but don’t always achieve: unique compositions that, rather than being derivative, push their chosen genre forward; and an energy and group chemistry that lend a recognizable sound. While post bop players are to some extent a dime a dozen, Watson and his group play tunes that are of the tradition yet, like Dave Holland’s current quintet, challenge it by incorporating elements including odd meters, more contemporary rhythms, and tunes that employ somewhat darker hues, like the appropriately titled “Dark Days” and “Dark Days (interlude).”

With a program of mainly original compositions by Watson and his bandmates, trumpeter Terrell Stafford, pianist Edward Simon, bassist Essiet Essiet and drummer Victor Lewis, the group continues to mine hard and post bop territories while mixing in a certain element of the Afro Cuban, coming primarily from Simon and Essiet. The group navigates odd meters with the same comfort level as Holland’s group, whether it be Simon’s 5/4 “Pere” or the 7/4 “Permanoon.”

Everyone plays exceptionally well. Watson’s alto is robust and together with Stafford he creates a strong frontline that is capable of adventure (“Lemoncello”) or tenderness (“The Love We Had Yesterday”). Simon, probably best- known for his longstanding work with Terence Blanchard, is a dynamic yet subtle player. Essiet and Lewis form a rhythm section that is as comfortable with the quirky arrangement of Jimmy Heath’s “Gingerbread Boy” as it is with the more insistent pulse of Lewis’ “Eeeyyess.”

On an album this strong the only weak spot is their cover of the Bacharach/David chestnut “The Look of Love.” Played straight, with nothing in the arrangement to give it a sense of invention, its placement halfway through the album causes a temporary loss of the solid continuity that is evident before and after.

Still, one misstep aside, this is as good as hard and post bop gets. Horizon Reassembled easily ranks with Terence Blanchard’s Bounce and Kenny Garrett’s Standards of Language , arguably two of the genre's best albums of the past year. Let’s hope that Watson’s reconvening of Horizon isn’t just a one-time event, and that the group continues making records as fine as this.

Visit Bobby Watson and Palmetto Records on the web.


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)

Title: Horizon Reassembled | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Palmetto Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Wilkes BBQ

Wilkes BBQ

Bobby Watson
From the Heart

CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Check Cashing Day

Check Cashing Day

Self Produced
2013

buy
 

The Gates BBQ Suite

Renaissance Jazz Cafe
2011

buy
The Gates BBQ Suite

The Gates BBQ Suite

Lafiya Music
2010

buy
 

Everlasting

Red Records
2009

buy
From the Heart

From the Heart

Palmetto Records
2008

buy
At Ease

At Ease

Cowbell Music
2008

buy

Related Articles

Read Oscar Peterson Plays CD/LP/Track Review
Oscar Peterson Plays
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 23, 2018
Read State Of The Baritone Volume 2 CD/LP/Track Review
State Of The Baritone Volume 2
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 23, 2018
Read Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume one) CD/LP/Track Review
Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume one)
by Chris May
Published: April 23, 2018
Read Friends & Family CD/LP/Track Review
Friends & Family
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 23, 2018
Read Northern Migrations CD/LP/Track Review
Northern Migrations
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Egregore CD/LP/Track Review
Egregore
by John Eyles
Published: April 22, 2018
Read "66 67" CD/LP/Track Review 66 67
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 9, 2017
Read "New Horizons" CD/LP/Track Review New Horizons
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 3, 2018
Read "Light Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Light Blue
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 10, 2018
Read "Twio" CD/LP/Track Review Twio
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 9, 2018
Read "To the Bone" CD/LP/Track Review To the Bone
by John Kelman
Published: August 26, 2017
Read "Southern Blood" CD/LP/Track Review Southern Blood
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 17, 2017