Live recordings of the Trevor Watts Drum Orchestra from 1983, a turning point in his career towards evolving a complex, polyrhythmically-driven approach to improvised structures.
Watts, Trevor Drum Orchestra
Released in: Great Britain
"American listeners may know Trevor Watts as an accomplished alto/soprano saxophonist, but more likely they will associate him with the British avant-garde.
Now in his late sixties, Watts logged a lot of time with blues, rock and traditional jazz bands before joining drummer John Stevens in 1965 to form the Spontaneous Music Ensemble (SME), a collective that provided a launching pad for many visionary British free improvisers-from Watts to Dave Holland, Kenny Wheeler, Derek Bailey and Barry Guy.
Burundi Monday, recorded live in 1983 by the Trevor Watts Drum Orchestra (put together in the 1980s) presents to our more contemporary ears a fresh, exciting and focused example of mostly improvised music. The two tracks ("Burundi Monday" clocking in at near thirty-five minutes and "Double Up" just under half that length) reveal the huge difference in approach between the Drum Orchestra's layering of a groove foundation and the more illustrious, unpredictable SME.
Here we hear a side of Watts' playing and listening skills that might not have been so evident elsewhere. There's more of his background in traditional jazz and blues as well as the obvious penchant for African music: far from a simple appropriation of stylistic affectations, it's heartfelt music played with deep musical skill, yet open to spontaneity.
The players are outstanding, including surprises in violinist Peter Knight (known more for his work in the British trad-folk-rock band Steeleye Span) and drummer Liam Genockey (also more from the rock world). Both contribute wonderfully to the total concept with a special melodic interplay.
Bassist Ernest Mothle also contributes greatly to the overall sound, working with a multi- dimensional approach that invokes Jaco Pastorius' electric chops and Charlie Haden's floating, harmonic directions. This first-time issue is a real find."-Francis Lo Kee
• Show Bio for Trevor Watts
"Trevor Charles Watts (born 26 February 1939 in York) is an English jazz and free-improvising alto and soprano saxophonist. He is largely self-taught, having taken up the cornet at age 12 then switched to saxophone at 18. While stationed in Germany with the RAF (1958-63), he encountered the drummer John Stevens and trombonist Paul Rutherford. After being demobbed he returned to London. In 1965 he and Stevens formed the Spontaneous Music Ensemble, which became one of the crucibles of British free improvisation. Watts left the band to form his own group Amalgam in 1967, then returned to SME for another stretch that lasted until the mid-1970s. Another key association was with the bassist Barry Guy and his London Jazz Composers' Orchestra, an association that lasted from the band's inception in the 1970s up to its (permanent?) disbandment in the mid-1990s.
Though he was initially strongly identified with the avant-garde, Watts is a versatile musician who has worked in everything from straight jazz contexts to rock and blues. His own projects have come increasingly to focus on blending jazz and African music, notably the Moiré Music ensemble which he has led since 1982 in configurations ranging from large ensembles featuring multiple drummers to more intimate trios. He has only occasionally recorded in freer modes in recent years, notably the CD 6 Dialogues, a duet album with Veryan Weston (the pianist in earlier editions of Moiré Music). A solo album, World Sonic, appeared on Hi4Head Records in 2005.
Watts has toured the world over numerous times, run workshops, received grants and commissions, and he has collaborated with some of the great jazz musicians including Archie Shepp, Steve Lacy, Don Cherry and Jayne Cortez. As of 2011, he continues to travel and toured North American with Veryan Weston."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trevor_Watts)
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Related Categories of Interest:
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
Percussion & Drums
London & UK Free Improvisation Scene
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Shipping Weight: 3.00 units
Quantity in Basket: None
Catalog ID: FMR 198-0206
Squidco Product Code: 11151
Country: Great Britain
Recorded Live at the 100 Club in 1983.
Mmadi Kamara-African percussion
Nana Tsiboe-African percussion
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1. Burundi Monday 34:41
2. Double Up 15:15