A veteran of both the music and film worlds, Jeff “Tain” Watts is one of the most renowned drummers playing today based on both the scope and quality of his work. Appearing on literally every Grammy-winning record won by both Branford and Wynton Marsalis set him aside as one of the best, but for Watts that was only the beginning. We got Jeff to take some time away from his busy schedule preparing for the Generations of the BEAT Festival to discuss his role in Spike Lee’s ‘Mo’ Better Blues,’ his role as both a sideman and bandleader, and more.
Feature ArticleIt’s alright if you don’t know the name “Billy Hart,” because at the end of the day, you’re still one of his biggest fans. No one plays the corner quite like Hart—having built the rhythmic foundations to some of jazz most important records. His discography reads like a sacred text, reciting the names of the great prophets at each turn. Before finding himself in the booth properly, he was already performing with Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Jimmy Smith, and Wes Montgomery, all in the confines of his Washington, D.C. enclave. But as soon as he began to record, he never stopped, amassing one of the most prolific portfolios in music history.
On harmonica, for a brief, yet memorable moment was Gregoire Maret. What I did not know was that you can really play the harmonica. We’re not talking about the technical element of the instrument (which he does brilliantly, I might add). We’re talking about what Little Richard did on the keys, what Chuck Berry did on the guitar. We’re talking about the difference between someone who was “singing” and someone who was “sangin,’” as they might say in the black church. With every other note, Maret dipped and swayed as his bended knees supported a man unbridled. To watch this seemingly mild-mannered individual take off his metaphorical cool was perhaps the most amusingly captivating moment of the night. It was showmanship at its finest and most unexpected.
2013′s Winter Jazz Festival will be kicking off in exactly one month from today, on 1/11/13. This year Revive Music Group will be presenting two action-packed nights of music at Sullivan Hall filled to the brim with a roster of amazing musicians. For the next month we will be bringing you previews of these incredible artists to give you a taste of what is to come in January. Check out our first preview on the intriguing musicality of rising trumpet extraordinaire John Raymond and look out for more previews in the coming month!