Bobby Watson – Alto Sax
Leron Thomas – Trumpet
Harold O'Neal – Piano
Curtis Lundy – Bass
Quincy Davis – Drums
Warren Wolf – Vibes
|A Grammy Nominated saxophonist, composer, producer, and educator,
Bobby Watson trained formally at the University of Miami and then earned his “doctorate” as musical director of
Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, the ultimate “postgraduate school” for ambitious young players. Along the
way, he worked with such notable jazz artists as Max Roach, Louis Hayes, George Coleman, Sam Rivers and Wynton and Branford
Marsalis, as well as vocalists Joe Williams, Dianne Reeves, Lou Rawls, Betty Carter, and Carmen Lundy. Later, in association
with bassist Curtis Lundy and drummer Victor Lewis, Watson launched the first edition of Horizon, his acoustic quintet. He
has also led the High court of Swing (a tribute to the music of Johnny Hodges), The Tailor-Made Big Band and is a founding
member of the highly acclaimed 29th Street Saxophone Quartet. Watson also wrote original music for the sound track of Robert
Deniro’s directorial debut A Bronx Tale. Bobby has recorded 26 records as a leader and appears on over 80 recordings
to date. He has over 100 compositions recorded, and his long time publisher, Second Floor Music, publishes many of his original
combo and big band arrangements. His latest project recorded on Palmetto records is entitled Live and Learn. Bobby
was a member of the adjunct faculty and taught private saxophone at William Patterson University from 85-86 and Manhattan
School of Music from 1996-1999. In 2000, Bobby was awarded the first William and Mary Grant/Missouri Professor of Jazz, an
endowed professorship in jazz and serves as the director of jazz studies at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory
of Music and Dance. Bobby's latest release Horizon Reassembled is currently number 4 on the jazz radio charts.
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A saxophonist, composer, producer and educator, Bobby Watson grew up
in Kansas City, Kansas. He trained formally at the University of Miami, a school with a distinguished and well-respected jazz
program. After graduating, he proceeded to earn his doctorate on the bandstand -- as musical director of Art Blakeys Jazz
Messengers. The group, created in 1955 by late drummer, who died in 1990, showcased a rotating cast who eventually became
consistent members of a whos who of modern jazz. The Jazz Messengers, sometimes referred to as the University of Blakey, served
as the ultimate postgraduate school for ambitious young players.
After completing his tenure as a Jazz Messenger (1977-1981),
the gifted Watson became a much-sought after musician, working along the way with a potpourri of notable musicians, peers,
elder statesmen and colleagues including, but not limited to: drummers Max Roach and Louis Hayes, fellow saxophonists George
Coleman and Branford Marsalis, celebrated multi-instrumentalist Sam Rivers and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis who joined the Jazz
Messengers at least in part at the suggestion of Watson. In addition to working with a variety of instrumentalists, Watson
has served in a supporting roll for a number of distinguished and stylistically varied vocalists including: Joe Williams,
Dianne Reeves, Lou Rawls, Betty Carter, and Carmen Lundy.
Later, in association with bassist Curtis Lundy and drummer
Victor Lewis, Watson launched the first edition of Horizon, an acoustic quintet modeled in many ways after the Jazz Messengers
but one with its own distinct slightly more modern twist. Horizon is now considered one of the preeminent small groups of
the mid-1980s to mid-1990s. The group recorded several titles for the Blue Note and Columbia record labels.
to his work as leader of Horizon, Watson also led a group known as the High court of Swing (a tribute to the music of Johnny
Hodges), The Grammy nominated Tailor-Made Big Band (16 pieces in all) and is a founding member of the highly acclaimed 29th
Street Saxophone Quartet, an all-horn, four-piece group. Watson also wrote original music for the sound track of Robert DeNiros
directorial debut A Bronx Tale.
All told, Bobby Watson, the immensely talented and now seasoned veteran has some 26
recordings as a leader. He appears on close to 100 other recordings as either co-leader or in a supporting role for other
like-minded musicians. Watson has recorded more than 100 original compositions and his long-time publisher, Second Floor Music,
publishes many of his original combo and big band arrangements that circulate and are interpreted on an international scope
Bobbys classic 1986 Red Records release, Love Remains has long been recognized by the Penguin Guide to
Jazz with its highest rating and in the Penguin Guides seventh edition, it was identified as a part of its core collection,
i.e. a must-have for any jazz aficionado along with other jazz masters such as John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Thelonius Monk,
Duke Ellington and others. His latest project, Horizon Reassembled, was recorded for the Palmetto label; shortly after its
June 2004 release, the release went to number one on the national jazz airplay chart.
Known as a tireless worker,
a team player and a consummate musician, Bobby Watson has been a first-call musician for nearly three decades. A resident
of New York for most of his professional life, Bobby served as a member of the adjunct faculty and taught private saxophone
at William Patterson University from 1985-1986 and Manhattan School of Music from 1996-1999. He is currently involved with
the highly acclaimed Thelonious Monk Institutes yearly Jazz in America high school outreach program.
In 2000, he was
approached to return to his native midwestern surroundings on the Kansas-Missouri border. Watson accepted the challenge and
subsequently that same year he was selected as the first William D. and Mary Grant/Missouri, Distinguished Professorship in
Jazz Studies. The past six years he has served as the director of jazz studies at the University of Missouri/Kansas City,
Conservatory of Music although he still manages to balance live engagements throughout the world with his teaching responsibilities.