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Bobby Watson | Live & Learn – [Palmetto, 2002]

Bobby Watson - Live & Learn

Bobby Watson may be the unluckiest person in the history of jazz, a music littered with unlucky people. Watson, who came up with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, where he was musical director for a number of years, went on to record four or five great records for the Italian Red label, including one of the best all-time jazz recordings ever, Love Remains. Capitol took notice and signed his group, Horizon, which may have been the best post-bop unit in the history of jazz, to a multi-record contract. And though they produced some great records, esp. The Inventor, they never really hit it big. From there he linked up with Kokopelli, Herbie Mann’s abortive attempt to make jazz accessible to the masses, and made the creditable but critically scorned Urban Renewal, which did nothing to advance his already sinking career. Then he made Quiet As It’s Kept, back on Red, a really fine record, which promptly sunk like a stone.

That brings us to Live and Learn, which is classic Bobby Watson, again on a small, struggling label, Palmetto (which nevertheless has some very fine artists in its stable, such as Ben Allison, Andrew Hill, and Larry Goldings), again seemingly being ignored by public and critics alike. What does this poor man have to do to get heard, let along get the praise and respect he’s due? It must be really discouraging to make breathtakingly outstanding album after breathtakingly outstanding album only to remain in obscurity. —Jan P. Dennis

..:: Source: Amazon.com ::..