3

Watters / Felts Project: Watters / Felts Project

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Watters / Felts Project: Watters / Felts Project On The Watters / Felts Project, Ken Watters, a fine trumpeter, and his quintet are confined for the most part to escorting singer Ingrid Felts as she wends her way through five present-day compositions, Billie Holiday's "Fine and Mellow" and the standard "I'll Be Seeing You." Is it a good idea? That depends in part on one's response to Felts' casual, blues-based vocal style. The opinion here is that her performance is for the most part adequate but no more than that.

Another aspect of the dilemma lies within the songs themselves. As is the case with so many contemporary themes, the lyrics, which must have made perfect sense to whoever wrote them (Felts' name is on each one, though she is not explicitly named as lyricist), are by and large inscrutable. That is especially true of the shuffling finale, "There It Is," the only track recorded live (at The Crossroads in Huntsville, AL), on which Felts and the band are, according to Watters, simply jamming and making things up as the song unfolds. It's generally muddled and at least three or four minutes too long.

Completing the album are a pair of engaging instrumentals, bassist Abe Becker's loping "Contrapunto Cubano" and Watters' sunny "Port-au-Prince," on which the quintet is able to spread its wings behind pleasing solos by Watters, Becker and pianist Keith Taylor, complementing sharp percussion work by Darrell Tibbs and drummer Marcus Pope. Felts adds a wordless vocal on "Port-au-Prince," written by Watters to exemplify his admiration for the Caribbean island of Haiti.

After listening to Felts wander through "Somerset Road," "Where've You Been," "Open" and "Waiting," it's a pleasure to revisit Sammy Fain's "I'll Be Seeing You," even though her vocal there is unimposing. Taylor ransoms the track with another splendid solo. "Fine and Mellow" is of course the personal property of Billie Holiday, and any new version must suffer by comparison. While there's no doubting that everyone involved believes in the Watters / Felts Project, the best grade that can be given for its introductory enterprise is a conclusive "e" for effort.


Track Listing: Fine and Mellow; Sommerset Road; Where’ve You Been; Contrapunto Cubano; Open; Waiting; Port-au-Prince; I’ll Be Seeing You; There It Is.

Personnel: Ken Watters: trumpet, flugelhorn; Ingrid Marie Felts: vocals; Keith Taylor: piano, keyboards; Abe Becker: acoustic, electric bass (2-4, 6, 7, 9); Ben Melvin: acoustic bass (1, 5, 8); Marcus Pope: drums; Darrell Tibbs: percussion.

Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Summit Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Back Home" CD/LP/Track Review Back Home
by Mark F. Turner
Published: May 6, 2016
Read "No Coming, No Going – The Music of Peter Kuhn 1978-1979" CD/LP/Track Review No Coming, No Going – The Music of Peter Kuhn 1978-1979
by John Sharpe
Published: August 5, 2016
Read "Migration" CD/LP/Track Review Migration
by Budd Kopman
Published: July 20, 2016
Read "Louisiana Soul Revival Featuring Doug Duffey" CD/LP/Track Review Louisiana Soul Revival Featuring Doug Duffey
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: November 21, 2016
Read "Positive Changes" CD/LP/Track Review Positive Changes
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 29, 2016
Read "ReNew" CD/LP/Track Review ReNew
by Tyran Grillo
Published: April 11, 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!

Buy it!