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Trevor Watts

Born in York, England; composer/arranger/alto & sop saxes/piano/percussion. Trevor Watts' family moved to Halifax in Yorkshire when he was 6 months old, and that is where he was brought up.

Trevor is a completely self taught musician, and his early inspirations came from his fathers love of Jazz, and the large collection of 78's that his father brought back after living in Canada and visiting the States on many occasions in the 1920's.

Trevor had to do his National Service in the RAF, and joined the RAF band in 1959. It was there he met John Stevens and Paul Rutherford amongst others and formed the musical association that was to become the Spontaneous Music Ensemble and Amalgam in the early 60's. These groups radically changed the face of European style Jazz and improvised music, and opened up the way for others. Shortly before the formation of the SME in 1965, Trevor had gained some experience playing at the Marquee Club in London with the likes of Sonny Boy Williamson, Long John Baldry and Rod Stewart amongst others. The SME although starting as a collective, gradually was taken over by John Stevens, so Trevor used his group Amalgam to further his own more personal style of music.

Amalgam incorporated many different elements within the music. These elements were mainly introduced by the different types of musicians within the group. Trevor always believing that it didn't matter what "style" a person played, but that if the desire was there to play together, a way could be found. This resulted in wrong labels being placed on the group at certain times in the 70's like "Jazz Rock" for instance, but as Watts never acknowledges verbal cliches to describe a music, it certainly was never an attempt at "Jazz Rock". In the same way, the the Moire Music Drum Orchestra wasn't an attempt at "Afro Jazz". These projects were a way of creating a situation whereby musicians of different persuasions could function together without radically changing the way they each individually played. Some of those who passed through Amalagam were such as Barry Guy, Harry Miller, John Stevens, Stan Tracey, Paul Rutherford and others. But the most significant period for that group was between around 1974 and 1979. That was the group of Keith Rowe (guitar), Colin McKenzie (Bass Gtr), Liam Genockey (Drums) and Trevor Watts (alto & sop saxes). This quartet worked long and hard on the music (Impetus: Wipe Out).

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