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MUSICIAN Born:

Doug Watkins

Douglas Watkins was an American hard bop jazz double bassist from Detroit. An original member of the Jazz Messengers, he later played in Horace Silver's quintet and freelanced with Gene Ammons, Kenny Burrell, Donald Byrd, Art Farmer, Jackie McLean, Hank Mobley, Lee Morgan, Sonny Rollins, and Phil Woods among others. Some of Watkins' best-known work can be heard when as a 22-year-old he appeared on the 1956 album, Saxophone Colossus by tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins, with Max Roach and Tommy Flanagan. From that session, the tunes "Blue Seven" and "St. Thomas," especially, have become revered not only as evidence of Rollins' original genius but as fine examples of Watkins' work. According to Horace Silver's autobiography, Let's Get to the Nitty Gritty, Watkins, along with Silver, later left Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers because the other members of the band at the time (Kenny Dorham, Hank Mobley and Blakey) had serious drug problems, whereas Watkins and Silver were tired of being harassed and searched by the police every time they went to a gig in a new city and club. In 1958 Watkins would join Donald Byrd for a European tour, taking up extended residence at Le Chat Qui Pêche, a jazz club on Paris' Left Bank

The Complete Recordings

Label: Phono
Released: 2020
Track listing: CD1: Nutville; The Way You Look Tonight; Star Eyes; Minor Move; Everything Happens To Me; Good Old Soul; Up Tight’s Creek; Theme For Doris; Miss Hazel; True Blue; Nothing Ever Changes My Love For You. CD2: Back To The Tracks; Street Singer; The Blues And I; For Heaven’s Sake; The Ruby And The Pearl; Talkin’ About; One For Myrtle; Dhyana; David The King; Stranger In Paradise; The Waiting Game.

Blue Note Records: Lost In Space: 20 Overlooked Classic Albums

Read "Blue Note Records: Lost In Space: 20 Overlooked Classic Albums" reviewed by Chris May

For anyone with a passion for Blue Note, it is hard to conceive of an album that has been “overlooked," let alone twenty of them. For connoisseurs of the most influential label in jazz history, the passion can be all consuming: if a dedicated collector does not have all the albums (yet), he or she will ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Steve Swallow Interview

Read "Steve Swallow Interview" reviewed by Mike Brannon

From the 1995-2003 archive: This article first appeared at All About Jazz in January 2001. Steve Swallow may not be a household name, at least in most households, but if you've listened to contemporary jazz over the last thirty years, you've likely heard him on one side of the studio glass or the other. ...

ARTICLE: UNDER THE RADAR

The Archive of Contemporary Music

Read "The Archive of Contemporary Music" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

In Lower Manhattan, sits a musical gold mine. It's the motherlode of recorded music though the small, brightly colored sign above a grey steel door provides only a cryptic clue. The dusty window display of rare 78 RPM records, broken into erratic pie charts serves as a vestige of the past and a cautionary tale about ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Tina Brooks Quintet: The Complete Recordings

Read "The Complete Recordings" reviewed by Chris May

Mosaic Records' spring 2020 release The Complete Hank Mobley Blue Note Sessions 1963-70, the second of the label's box sets devoted to the copiously recorded (and rightly so) Hank Mobley, prompts thoughts of another of Blue Note's singular hard-bop tenor saxophone stylists. Unlike Mobley, Tina Brooks was woefully under-recorded, making just four albums under his own ...

ARTICLE: PROFILE

Sonny Buxton: Strayhorn’s Last Drummer, A Radio Master Class Mid-Day Saturdays

Read "Sonny Buxton: Strayhorn’s Last Drummer, A Radio Master Class Mid-Day Saturdays" reviewed by Arthur R George

Sociologist, anthropologist, historian: storyteller, raconteur, entrepreneur and griot, in the guise of a deejay. Registrar, dean, professor: The jazz class of Sonny Buxton is barely concealed as entertainment within his weekly radio program every Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Pacific time on San Francisco Bay Area FM station KCSM 91.1, streaming live on kcsm.org.

Lee Morgan On Music Matters

Read "Lee Morgan On Music Matters" reviewed by Greg Simmons

Somewhere up in the sky there's a pantheon of jazz legends. Lee Morgan rightfully has a seat in the top tier, and the jam must be extraordinary. Morgan hit the scene in 1956, an obvious prodigy who'd scored two triumphs at the tender age of eighteen: a standing gig in Dizzy Gillespie's big band ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Gene Ammons: Boss Tenor

Read "Boss Tenor" reviewed by Matthew Aquiline

Tenor saxophonist Gene Ammons' tone can be best described using the qualities of an ideally brewed cup of joe: rounded, bold, smooth, and exhilarating after first taste. Widely regarded as an original founder of the “Chicago school of tenor sax," Ammons' nonchalant, yet indelible sound--echoing the soft, breathy tone of Lester Young--drove him to ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Burt Eckoff: A Pianist's Close Encounters With the Greats of Jazz

Read "Burt Eckoff: A Pianist's Close Encounters With the Greats of Jazz" reviewed by Idelle Nissila-Stone

Active in the jny: New York City jazz scene since the 1960s, pianist Burt Eckoff played with many jazz greats, among them Howard McGhee, Maynard Ferguson, Art Blakey, Sonny Stitt and Archie Shepp. He is known for exceptional artistry in his work with vocalists Dionne Warwick, The Drifters, Eddie Jefferson, and most importantly Dakota Staton, with ...


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