586

Kind of Blue Turns 50: Bobby Watson Quartet at the Kimmel Center

Victor L. Schermer By

Sign in to view read count
The second set commenced with "Autumn Leaves," Watson noting that the song constituted "one of my favorite Adderly moments" and showing how he (Watson) can shift effortlessly between rapid runs and lyrical reflections. Next came the Coltrane tune "Cousin Mary," named after Trane's beloved family member who still today is a strong supporter of jazz in Philadelphia and at the Cape May Jazz Festival. The Coltrane sound emerged in a uniquely transformed way in Watson's playing here. He then introduced "Love Remains," a beautiful ballad written by him and his wife, Pamela, and which has become somewhat of his signature tune ever since it appeared on the classic 1986 album by the same name. The final piece was "Flamenco Sketches," from Kind of Blue, in which Watson performed a beautiful impressionist solo that no doubt would have pleased Miles Davis just as the latter awed audiences when he played "My Funny Valentine" with haunting beauty and originality.



It was striking that all of the songs in the second set were ballads, in contrast to the common practice of building up the swing aspect to a rapid and frenzied finish. As if to make amends for that change, the group responded to a standing ovation by coming back for a stunning encore which began slowly with a saxophone cadenza followed by a 3/4 time jam that went to the high end of the Richter Scale and shook the house, fueled by Eric Kennedy's powerhouse drumming. Kennedy had trouble finding his groove at the beginning of the concert, but in time found his way to true form, reminiscent of Art Blakey's driving rhythm, and leaving the audience thrilled, not unlike the legendary leader of the Jazz Messengers, with whom Watson played for a number of years—a stint that inspired the latter's driving spirit.


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Cheltenham Jazz Festival 2017 Live Reviews Cheltenham Jazz Festival 2017
by Nick Davies
Published: May 13, 2017
Read Omar Sosa At SFJAZZ Live Reviews Omar Sosa At SFJAZZ
by Walter Atkins
Published: May 13, 2017
Read Wadada Leo Smith At Firehouse 12 Live Reviews Wadada Leo Smith At Firehouse 12
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: May 11, 2017
Read Jazzahead! 2017 Live Reviews Jazzahead! 2017
by Henning Bolte
Published: May 11, 2017
Read Adrian Belew Power Trio at Ardmore Music Hall Live Reviews Adrian Belew Power Trio at Ardmore Music Hall
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 10, 2017
Read Bray Jazz Festival 2017 Live Reviews Bray Jazz Festival 2017
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 9, 2017
Read "Midge Ure at Revolution Music Hall" Live Reviews Midge Ure at Revolution Music Hall
by Mike Perciaccante
Published: October 8, 2016
Read "John Daversa Big Band at The Baked Potato" Live Reviews John Daversa Big Band at The Baked Potato
by Paul Naser
Published: June 3, 2016
Read "Brilliant Corners 2017" Live Reviews Brilliant Corners 2017
by Ian Patterson
Published: March 27, 2017
Read "Belgrade Jazz Festival 2016" Live Reviews Belgrade Jazz Festival 2016
by Thomas Conrad
Published: November 11, 2016
Read "Davy Knowles at Higher Ground" Live Reviews Davy Knowles at Higher Ground
by Doug Collette
Published: August 27, 2016
comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!