Ernie Watts: Classic Moods

Watts superbly proves himself to be master of timeless acoustic jazz charts, performing with pianist Mulgrew Miller, bassist George Mraz and drummer Jimmy Cobb.

“On Green Dolphin Street” and “My Funny Valentine” are richly reminiscent of early Miles Davis; “Lush Life” is unmistakably John Coltrane’s take. Billie Holiday’s melancholy influence colors “Good Morning Heartache,” while “In a Sentimental Mood” reflects the Duke’s mark on music.

Three Watts originals also are written and played ’50s-style. “The Poet” is a swinging melodic waltz, “I Don’t Know Why” (based on the changes of “When You Wish Upon a Star”) is offered in a lyrical tone, and “Blues Now and Then” is delivered both straight and modal.