Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band is a pioneering American soul and funk band. Formed in the early 1960s, they had the most visibility from 1967 to 1973 when the band had 9 singles reach Billboard's pop and/or rhythm and blues charts, such as "Do Your Thing" (#11 Pop, #12 R&B), "Till You Get Enough" (#12 R&B, #67 Pop), and "Love Land" (R&B #23, Pop #16). They are best known for their biggest hit on Warner Bros. Records, 1970's "Express Yourself" (#3 R&B, #12 Pop), a song that has been sampled by rap group N.W.A and others…
Drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts leads his quintet plus guest altoist Kenny Garrett through extended versions of four of his originals (all of which he had recorded previously in the studio) plus Bjork's "107 Steps." While "107 Steps" and "JC Is the Man" (which is more Thelonious Monk than John Coltrane) are fine, it is not until Garrett makes his first appearance on "Mr. JJ" (which is more Coltrane than J.J. Johnson) that this set really explodes. Garrett's passion inspires Watts during their midsong duet and adds a great deal of energy during the three songs on which he appears, completely stealing the show.
For veteran California saxophonist Ernie Watts, here is another example of why he is one of the finest exponents of modern jazz going. This CD is one in a long line, pre-and-post his work with Charlie Haden's Quartet West, that identifies him as an individualist. Since his sound on tenor so closely mirrors Michael Brecker's, and they are peers, the question will always be – who came first, and who influenced who? Clearly John Coltrane's muse is extant in both, and they have developed personal voices. Analog Man succeeds on different levels. Francois Moutin's "Clinton Parkview" is a fresh neo-bop piece with effortless, attractive rhythm changes. On soprano sax, of which Watts is an underrated giant, he displays flawless tone, technique, and unlimited sweetness on the modal "Paseando."
Through the 1970's and still today, Ernie Watts signature sound has found its way on to the recordings of music's biggest names, Watt's reed work can be heard on numerous classic recordings from artists such as: Arturo Sandoval, Sergio Mendez, Cannonball Adderley, Oliver Nelson, and Toots Thielmans to name but a few.His strengths however are much more ubiquitous than the jazz realm, having played on sessions for pop's most respected artists, namely, Quincy Jones, Whitney Houston, Chaka Khan, Frank Zappa, Julio Inglesias, Joe Cocker, Bonnie Raitt and he joined The Rolling Stones on stage for their 1981 U.S. Tour.
In this video, Jeff gives you the underlying relationships of all heads that you can refer to when drawing from the model or from photographs to achieve a likeness, and demonstrates warm-up drawings in sets of four 5-minute exercises before tackling a long drawing of the same model. This is the exercise that he sets out in his classes in his Atelier for his drawing students and the process they go through every week of class. Now you can sit in on one of his classes, where he demonstrates on this video exactly as he would in each weekly class.
For this quartet set with pianist Mulgrew Miller, bassist Charles Fambrough, and drummer Jack DeJohnette, Ernie Watts definitely came to play. Virtually all of his solos are high powered and even his ballad statements are filled with clusters of passionate notes. Trumpeter Arturo Sandval has two appearances and makes the music even more hyper. In addition, the rhythm section keeps the proceedings consistently stimulating. The main focus on these standards and originals is generally on Watts' tenor, and even though there isn't all that much variety, this CD is a strong example of his jazz talents.