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 The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Sounds Of 3" CD/LP/Track Review Sounds Of 3
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 17, 2016
Read "Rise Of Orion" CD/LP/Track Review Rise Of Orion
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 1, 2016
Read "When You Wish Upon a Star" CD/LP/Track Review When You Wish Upon a Star
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 3, 2016
Read "Spring Feelings" CD/LP/Track Review Spring Feelings
by Andrew Luhn
Published: March 17, 2016
Read "Chant" CD/LP/Track Review Chant
by Nicola Negri
Published: December 25, 2016
Read "Preston Glasgow Lowe" CD/LP/Track Review Preston Glasgow Lowe
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 16, 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!