259

Kobie Watkins: Involved

John Barron By

Sign in to view read count
Kobie Watkins: Involved Perhaps the title to drummer Kobie Watkins' debut, Involved, makes reference to the Chicago native's involvement with some of the highest profile jazz artists around. A regular in the bands of saxophonist Sonny Rollins, guitarist Bobby Broom, and vocalist Kurt Elling, Watkins has proven himself a stand-out accompanist, possessing a confident blend of fire and sensitivity. With a slew of fellow Chicagoans, including Broom, trumpeter Pharez Whitted, and saxophonist Geof Bradfield, Watkins blends straight-ahead blowing and unabashed funk to create an energized set of groove-heavy jazz.

Thoughtful covers of Stevie Wonder's "Taboo To Love" and Kenny Dorham's "Short Story," featuring a blistering solo by Whitted, sit well with original compositions by Watkins, saxophonist Jarrard Harris, pianist Ryan Cohen, and producer Harold Mims. Watkins' "Expressions" and "Sonny Like" contain clever themes with infectious, multi-layered rhythms. The leader's two other tunes on the disc, "Affectious" and "Movin' On," feature the same qualities with a more laidback vibe due in part to Harris's mellow soprano saxophone.

While Watkins' drumming is not the front-and-center focus of the disc, his dominating presence is undeniable on the up-tempo burners "Spastic" and "Third Pew." The latter is a gospel-meets-bebop rampage featuring Whitted, trombonist Terris Ransom, and pianist/organist James Austin. Mim's odd-metered, Afro-Cuban influenced "Congo" showcases the multi-faceted drummer's fearless approach to polyphonic exploration.

With a release as stunning as Involved—along with a recent relocation to New York—Watkins is likely to further his appeal as a drummer and composer worthy of wide recognition.


Track Listing: Spastic; Expressions; Sonny Like; Taboo To Love; Congo; Gentle Souls; Short Story; Affectious; Third Pew; Movin' On.

Personnel: Kobie Watkins: drums, percussion; Geof Bradfield: saxophone (3, 5, 6, 7, 9); Jarrard Harris: saxophone (1, 8, 10); Pharez Whitted: trumpet (3, 5, 7, 9); Terris Ransom: trombone (3, 5, 9); Bobby Broom: guitar (2, 4, 10); James Austin: piano, organ, Rhodes (1, 2, 4, 9); Ryan Cohan: piano (5, 6, 8); Ron Perrillo: piano, Rhodes (3, 7); Dennis Carroll: bass (3, 6); Clark Sommers: bass (1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10); Josh Ramos: bass (8); Harold Mims: strings (4).

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Origin Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Still Happy" CD/LP/Track Review Still Happy
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: July 11, 2016
Read "I Can Do All Things" CD/LP/Track Review I Can Do All Things
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 14, 2016
Read "Songs Of Life" CD/LP/Track Review Songs Of Life
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 8, 2016
Read "Natural" CD/LP/Track Review Natural
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: May 7, 2016
Read "Illogical Harmonies with D’Incise" CD/LP/Track Review Illogical Harmonies with D’Incise
by John Eyles
Published: June 13, 2016
Read "Rivers" CD/LP/Track Review Rivers
by James Nadal
Published: June 13, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET 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!

Buy it!