Archives: November 2023

  • Bobby Watson: Love Remains

    November 13 is the anniversary of a recording session by Bobby Watson; "Love Remains," a quartet album featuring Bobby with John Hicks on piano, Curtis Lundy on bass, and Marvin "Smitty" Smith on drums, was recorded 37 years ago. We have six songs available from this album.

    The Mystery Of Ebop is the most challenging, full of shifts in tempo and feel within the head. The lively, bright-toned melody holds this song together, and the solo choruses keep the same tempo throughout.

    The title track Love Remains is a bittersweet bolero, co-written by Bobby and his wife, Pamela Baskin-Watson. The long notes of the melody leave plenty of space for expressive interpretation as Bobby shows on the recording.

    Next is Blues For Alto, a riff blues head with a call-and-response format that covers most of the alto sax's range.

    Ode For Aaron, named for Bobby's son, alternates calypso and swing; it's a simple but subtly detailed song, with an irregular 17-measure form. This one was also recorded by Justin Robinson on his debut album "Justin Time," which Bobby produced. A condensed score is available for Bobby's original quartet version, as well as a quintet arrangement he recorded on a Slovenian TV broadcast in 2000 (available on YouTube).

    The remaining two songs from "Love Remains" have already been available on, but not in the versions from this album. We have a condensed score now for the quartet version of Dark Days, slightly different from our lead sheet which reflects the quintet version from the 2004 album "Horizon Reassembled" as well as a sextet recording, 2013's "Check Cashing Day." Another ballad, Pamela Baskin-Watson's The Love We Had Yesterday has been available in a Minus You vocal version, but now we also have an instrumental lead sheet from Bobby's "Love Remains" recording.

  • Bobby Watson's "Midwest Shuffle"

    November 3, 2023, is the 30th anniversary of one of the recording dates for "Midwest Shuffle," a live album by Bobby Watson with his Horizon quintet. Three songs from this album are newly available on Mabel Is Able is an exciting rhythmic challenge: samba in 7/4, alternated with occasional measures of 4/4 and 3/4 within the form. A full score and parts are available for the quintet arrangement, with especially detailed parts for the rhythm section. A Blues Of Hope is well-named, with a bright, positive sound in a minor key. Bobby recorded this 12/8 Latin song again on his 2013 album "Check Cashing Day"; we have condensed scores for both recordings. Finally, Mirrors (We All Need) is a soulful ballad that makes a complete statement in a short eight-measure form. Condensed score and second horn parts are available that reflect Bobby's quintet recording. In addition we have an arrangement by Don Sickler for four alto saxes, with an exclusive video featuring Bobby himself with Jon Gordon, Kira Daglio Fine and Elijah Shiffer. Another Don Sickler arrangement of this song is available for sextet; it is not yet recorded but we have a MIDI audio version.
    More Bobby Watson titles are coming to very soon!

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