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.

Title: Watters / Felts Project | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Summit Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Hope CD/LP/Track Review Hope
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 21, 2017
Read Day After Day CD/LP/Track Review Day After Day
by John Eyles
Published: July 21, 2017
Read We Know Not What We Do CD/LP/Track Review We Know Not What We Do
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 21, 2017
Read Slade Alive! CD/LP/Track Review Slade Alive!
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 21, 2017
Read The Better Angels of Our Nature CD/LP/Track Review The Better Angels of Our Nature
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 20, 2017
Read What Brought You Here? CD/LP/Track Review What Brought You Here?
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 20, 2017
Read "Nightfall" CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017
Read "Stranger Days" CD/LP/Track Review Stranger Days
by Budd Kopman
Published: August 21, 2016
Read "Out Of The Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Out Of The Blue
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 15, 2016
Read "Short Stories" CD/LP/Track Review Short Stories
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: November 3, 2016
Read "Promethean" CD/LP/Track Review Promethean
by David A. Orthmann
Published: July 3, 2017
Read "Every Time You Touch Me (I Get High) / Silver Linings / Take Me / Rollin' With The Flow" CD/LP/Track Review Every Time You Touch Me (I Get High) / Silver Linings /...
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 1, 2016

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!