93

The Ken Watters Group - Live at The Funky Butt

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
The Funky Butt
New Orleans, LA

On January 13th 2001, Alabama-based jazz trumpeter Ken Watters took his quartet to New Orleans’ much beloved and altogether historic establishment known as “The Funky Butt” which is located on “Rampart Street” in Congo Square. And while they rolled into town for their inaugural outing in the “Big Easy”, Watters and co. performed for an unsurprisingly receptive audience, as the band attracted a near - sold out crowd!
Ken Watters and his trombonist brother Harry have made somewhat of a splash with two critically acclaimed (Brothers: Ken & Harry Watters) CDs on “Summit Records”, yet due to commitments for Uncle Sam, Harry is unable to tour with the band. However, the trumpeter along with pianist David Marlow, bassist Roy Yarbrough and drummer Jay Frederick, pack a mighty punch as the quartet instills their distinctive sound into standards, Watters’ originals and shrewd spins on rock and pop classics.
The band enamored the patrons of this spacious, two-story venue with an airy and expressively lyrical rendition of Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” while also turning in a peppery, hybrid jazz/funk and Latin version of “The Allman Brothers” 70’s rock hit, “Jessica”. The group opened the second set with the captivating and lushly romantic piece culled from the “Brothers” first recording, titled “The Girls Back Home”, whereas local hero, trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis sat in with the band for “Autumn Leaves” and three other numbers. During this segment, the musicians engaged in a good old fashioned blowing session marked by Marlow’s climactic opuses, Watters’ razor sharp choruses, rapid flurries and the rhythm section’s timely dynamics and fiery swing pulse. (Drummer Jay Frederick had a bout with the flu; although, his illness did not diminish his polyrhythmic sense of swing and vigorous attack. – Up and coming New Orleans area tenor saxophonist Desmond Phillips joined the band and Marsalis for some festive hard bop, yet at times the young musician seemed to be at a loss for improvisational ideas by frequently repeating a series of triplets within the same register.
Overall, the musician’s New Orleans debut was a resounding success, as the audience’s enthusiastic reaction to the quartet’s diverse repertoire, impacting arrangements and refreshing groove driven vibes, proved that a good time was had by all.


Shop

More Articles

Read SFJAZZ Collective at the Music Box Supper Club Live Reviews SFJAZZ Collective at the Music Box Supper Club
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: April 28, 2017
Read Anat Cohen at Davidson College Live Reviews Anat Cohen at Davidson College
by Perry Tannenbaum
Published: April 27, 2017
Read Mark Hagan's Jazz Salon At The Old 76 House Live Reviews Mark Hagan's Jazz Salon At The Old 76 House
by David A. Orthmann
Published: April 27, 2017
Read Kneebody at Johnny Brenda's Live Reviews Kneebody at Johnny Brenda's
by Mike Jacobs
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Vossajazz 2017 Live Reviews Vossajazz 2017
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 23, 2017
Read Hermeto Pascoal at SFJAZZ Live Reviews Hermeto Pascoal at SFJAZZ
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: April 21, 2017
Read "bigBANG Jazz Gang" Live Reviews bigBANG Jazz Gang
by David A. Orthmann
Published: October 21, 2016
Read "Midge Ure at Revolution Music Hall" Live Reviews Midge Ure at Revolution Music Hall
by Mike Perciaccante
Published: October 8, 2016
Read "Quinsin Nachoff's Flux at Constellation" Live Reviews Quinsin Nachoff's Flux at Constellation
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: November 22, 2016
Read "Benny Golson Quartet at Duc des Lombards" Live Reviews Benny Golson Quartet at Duc des Lombards
by Patricia Myers
Published: August 22, 2016
Read "Big Ears Festival 2017" Live Reviews Big Ears Festival 2017
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 5, 2017
Read "WOMAD 2016" Live Reviews WOMAD 2016
by Martin Longley
Published: August 15, 2016

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!