Bobby Watson


Unlike the Bird's generation, Bobby Watson came up a surer and more measured path. He trained at the suggestion of his friend guitarist Pat Metheny at the University of Miami along with Jaco Pastorious, Bruce Hornsby and Danny Gottlieb. Then he got his doctorate as the musical director of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. Along the way, he worked with drummers Panama Francis, Max Roach and Louis Hayes with saxophonist George Coleman as well as Sam Rivers' avant garde Winds of Manhattan.

In association with drummer Victor Lewis, Watson launched the first edition of Horizon, his accoustic quintet. He's also led the High Court of Swing, a tribute to the music of Johnny Hodges and the highly-acclaimed 29th Street Saxophone Quartet. By the late 1980s, Watson had become one of the best-kept secrets in jazz. His CD, "Present Tense" was hailed by Peter Watrous in Musician Magazine "as one of those perfect albums" and he recorded "Tailor Made", a 17-piece big band project that broadened his artistic vision and his audience.

Bobby has consistently topped the critics' as well as the readers' music polls. Somehow Bobby has also found the time to interpret the works of Debussy and Chopin on "Pride of the Lions" and to produce several younger artists including Ryan Kisor and David Sanchez. He also composed original music for Robert DeNiro's directorial debut film, "A Bronx Tale".

Never one to stand still or to be limited by categories, Bobby has added tenor saxophone and flute to his arsenal and is on to New Horizons, and Urban Renewal.

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