Kobie Watkins: Spastic
Kobie Watkins (drums)
Involved (Origin 82532)
James Austin (piano), Clark Sommers (bass).
Composed by Jarrard Harris.
Recorded: Currie and Bagels Studio(?), October 13-17, 2006
Rating: 92/100 (learn more)
Drummer Kobie Watkins is the leader of the date, but he smartly features Chicago saxophonist Jarrard Harris on the opening track. Taking the lead-off solo on his own composition, Harris delivers one of those fierce in-the-moment improvisations that you sometimes hear in the heat of a jam session, but only rarely on a studio date. The changes are just the old twelve-bar-blues, and there are no fancy frills or substitute chords to spice up the proceedings. But Harris plays nine choruses full of high drama, each one better than its predecessor. James Austin follows gamely, and delivers some choice licks of his own, but Jarrard has won this round on all scoring cards. But do give credit to drummer Watkins too. He plays with ardor from the opening melody statement onward, and his energy level sets the tone for a standout track.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia