A new live recording from Drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts (pictured) titled Detained at the Blue Note will be out September 14 via Half Note Records, a subsidiary of the Blue Note club. The album was recorded in February at the Blue Note in New York and showcases Watts as the leader of a quintet.
The band heard on the album features special guest alto saxophonist Kenny Garrett alongside tenor player Marcus Strickland, pianist Dave Kikoski, bassist Eric Revis and guitarist Dave Gilmour. Though the band does offer an interpretation of Bjork’s “107 Steps,” for the most part Watts leads the group through his original compositions like “J. C. Is the Man,” “Mr. J. J.,” “Sigmund Groid” and “Like the Rose,” on which the drummer also sings.
Born in Pittsburgh in 1960, Watts came to fame with the early Wynton Marsalis band and hooked up with Branford Marsalis in 1989. Word circulated fast about the young drummer and soon he was in high demand on stage and in the studio. He began recording as a leader in 1991 with Megawatts (Sunnyside); his most recent CD is Bar Talk (Sony).
In other Half Note news, the label will soon release a new live disc by the late Elvin Jones, as well as CDs from James Carter, Mary Stallings and Arturo Sandoval.
For more information on Half Note Records and the Blue Note, visit www.halfnote.net or www.bluenote.net.