109

David Watson: Imprisoned Splendor

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Although David Watson performs with smaller groups on Imprisoned Splendor, one can easily envision him singing in front of a big band in the manner of his role model, the incomparable Joe Williams. He has the same earnest approach to a lyric and flawless sense of swing, but without the dark burnished voice or spark of individuality that made Williams instantly recognizable and secured his reputation as one of the foremost Jazz/blues singers of our time. That’s no putdown; there’s only one Joe Williams. If one can resist comparisons, Watson emerges on the evidence presented here as a competent singer who’s not quite in the class of a Williams, Kevin Mahogany or Johnny Hartman. The tools are there; they require only sharpening. Of course, as Watson indicates on the jacket that he has four grandchildren and one great–grandchild, the time for sharpening may be circumscribed. So let us enjoy what we have, which is a pleasant recital of songs, well–known and obscure, by a singer whose lucid baritone is on the whole silky–smooth and easy on the ears. Included are several of Williams’ signature tunes (“September in the Rain,” “A Hundred Years from Today,” “Every Day I Fall in Love”) and others written by Watson alone (“Fat Cat,” “Please Take Me Back to New Orleans”) or with lyricist Dee Bell (“Entertaining You,” “Imprisoned Splendor,” “I Miss Her So,” “Bewitched in Reverie,” “A New Home”). Watson interprets popular ballads (“Polka Dots and Moonbeams,” “My Foolish Heart”), Monk’s “Well You Needn’t” and the high–velocity “I Got the Blues,” based on Lester Young’s solo on “I Got Rhythm” (the only track on which he also scats). Watson’s companions are first–rate, and pianist Mackay has a number of venturesome solos along the way. Watson may be a few steps removed from super–stardom, but he’s quite a good singer.

Track listing: Entertaining You; September in the Rain; Imprisoned Splendor; Fat Cat; Dreamy; Take Me Back to New Orleans; Every Day I Fall in Love; Polka Dots and Moonbeams; A Hundred Years from Today; I Miss Her So; Well You Needn’t; Bewitched in Reverie; I Got the Blues; My Foolish Heart; A New Home; Reprise (73:20).

Personnel:

David Watson, vocals; John Mackay, piano; Archie Williams, guitar; Mel Graves, Steve Webber, Dartanu Brown, bass; Michael Aragon, Jaimeo Brown, drums; Linsay Ferguson, percussion; Peter Welker, trumpet; Jim Rothermel, tenor sax; Dale Gutridge, alto sax; Warren Dennis, Kahn Alesis QS8 voice master controller synthesizer (track 6).

| Record Label: Music in the Vines | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Invisible Hand" CD/LP/Track Review Invisible Hand
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 12, 2017
Read "Escualo" CD/LP/Track Review Escualo
by Duncan Heining
Published: November 24, 2016
Read "Discoveries on Tracker Action Organs" CD/LP/Track Review Discoveries on Tracker Action Organs
by John Eyles
Published: January 21, 2017
Read "Scott Hamilton / Harry Allen: live!" CD/LP/Track Review Scott Hamilton / Harry Allen: live!
by Edward Blanco
Published: August 9, 2016
Read "Pittsburgh" CD/LP/Track Review Pittsburgh
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 23, 2016
Read "Live in Concert" CD/LP/Track Review Live in Concert
by David Becker
Published: January 30, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!

Buy it!