Next Saturday, Bobby Watson will be giving a clinic at a local community college here in Northern California. In anticipation, I've decided to review his new CD, Horizon Reassembled (Palmetto Records), which reunites one of the great ensembles of the late '80s and '90s:
Watson's music is as joyful and uplifting as ever. His compositions draw on everything from jazz to hip-hop to soul. Turning on the first track, "Lemoncello," I couldn't help but dance and sing along.
In addition to originals by Watson and his bandmates, there is the Jimmy Heath standard "Ginger Bread Boy" (Heath sometimes jokes that the song should now be called "Ginger Bread Man," since his son, who inspired it, is an adult), as well as a beautiful ballad by Watson's wife, Pamela, titled "The Love We Had Yesterday." The CD includes Horizon's version of "The Look of Love," the old Burt Bacharach hit, and a piece by one of Watson's students.
The CD's highlights are its compositions; they are that good. Still, Watson plays with soulful elegance, and the reassembled Horizon plays tightly, as if they had never disbanded.
A Side Note: I was first turned on to Bobby Watson's compositions when I heard his "Fuller Love" on the Art Blakey album Keystone 3. It is one of the most addictive songs I have ever heard.
I'll be going to the clinic next Saturday, and will report back to you about it.
For more reviews of jazz CDs, concerts, and books visit jazz unDone.