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Jeff "Tain" Watts


CJ Shearn
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Long, long excursions on previously documented in the studio music. Rafi Zabor has described Watts playing at its most energetic as the aural convergence of two conflicting weather systems. The portions of the music on "Detained at the Blue Note" with Garrett go right up to hysteria and beat it about the ears.

By the way, what Trane tune is the bass riff from "Sigmond Groid" lifted from?

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I have all of his other albums. I was most impressed with the recent reissue of Megawatts. I first got into him on Michael Brecker's disc, "Two Blocks From the Edge" (TBFTE). I usually like what I head from Tain though I am aware of detractors. There was a great Before & After in Jazztimes relatively recently where the musician being tested was Tain.

He apparently didn't really get into jazz fully until he made the move from Pittsburgh to Boston to attend Berklee, where of course he met Branford and Kevin Eubanks and others.

He is always on tour with Branford. And he has really developed a rapport with Eric Revis and Joey Calderazzo. I liked that cut on Bar Talk where Branford gets crushed by Brecker. Bran has this tendency to invite other horn players onto his albums and then he'll end up looking bad (i.e. next to Brecker - a guy who has played extensively with Joey C and Tain too).

I can't wait for this new record. I missed it on the AAJ upcoming releases. Is he still with Columbia? Or Blue Note now? He doesn't have a website so I can't tell. I too am a huge fan of Kenny Garrett (what a sound on that alto - no one comes close but Steve Wilson and he's kind of a KG clone in some respects).

P.S. His tune, "The Impaler" has taken on cult status for it's adventurous melody. I like the later refined versions. The early takes from Megawatts with Kenny Kirkland (who I've heard helped Tain's compositions a lot) are not as hot as the version on Brecker's TBFTE.

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I liked that cut on Bar Talk where Branford gets crushed by Brecker. Bran has this tendency to invite other horn players onto his albums and then he'll end up looking bad (i.e. next to Brecker - a guy who has played extensively with Joey C and Tain too).

Yes, also see "Judas Iscariot" on "The Dark Keys," one of Kenny Garrett's better solos there.

Oh and so long as we're talking Watts, I enjoy his drumming and a very, very, able drummer he is to boot. "Bartalk," though I picked it up as soon as it was out, did not do much for me, on the whole - despite a couple of rather good tunes. As for "Detained," I'm getting it soon.

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His tune, "The Impaler" has taken on cult status for it's adventurous melody. I like the later refined versions. The early takes from Megawatts with Kenny Kirkland (who I've heard helped Tain's compositions a lot) are not as hot as the version on Brecker's TBFTE.

When Branford Marsalis played Atlanta a couple of years ago, the last song of the night was The Impaler. Tain was playing so hard that he broke his bass drum pedal in the middle of the song. They tried to fix it but couldn't so the encore ended up being a simple blues jam (with greatly subdued drums).

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Golt the album today, very nice. I dfidn't realize "107 Steps" was a Bjork song, my friend Daniel is crazy about Bjork's stuff, I've heard a lot of tracks he sent me and quite a bit of "Medulla" at B&N the other day, but I gotta say, I don't really like her even if she is very unique, however I do like Watts "107 Steps".

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I'm interested in picking this up, in part because I'd like to check out Marcus Strickland...But, 15 minute songs, recorded live, from a band led by a drummer... makes me think there's gotta be a loooong drum solo or two on this set. 5 or 10 minute drum solos wear thin pretty quickly for me. Any such beasts on this CD?

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