Friday, September 19, 2008

Marzette Watts Ensemble

Here's another Holy Grail from the 1960s free jazz scene. Marzette Watts' other album, Marzette and Company (recorded for ESP-Disk in 1966, but not released until 1971) goes in and out of print, but is relatively easy to find.

Savoy dropped this eponymous joint in 1969, but never saw fit to reissue it. A shame, because it is a nice slab of vinyl that fits in nicely with much of what ESP-Disk was offering at the time. The recording includes three Watts originals, a couple Ornette Coleman tunes (including the standard, "Lonely Woman") and a Bill Dixon tune. Thurston Moore held this album in high esteem for good reason. It rocks - not as a full-throttle noise assault, but as a varied, subtle recording that kicks out the jams in all the right places. The cover of "Lonely Woman" in particular stands out, partially because of the Patty Waters vocal.

Side A
1. Octobersong (Dixon)
2. Play It Straight (Coleman)
3. F.L.O.A.R.S.S (Watts)

Side B
1. Medley (Watts)
2. Lonely Woman (Coleman)
3. Joudpou (Watts)

Marzette Watts - tenor sax
Marty Cook - trombone
Tom Berge & J. C. Moses - drums
Juny Booth, Steve Tintweiss, Cevera Jehers - basses
Frank Kipers - violin
Robert Fews [sic?] - piano
George Turner - cornet
Patty Waters, Amy Schaeffer - voices

Bill Dixon - producer; cover design; liner notes; piano on "Play it Straight"
Jerry Newman - engineer
James Mannis - cover photo

Recorded at Stereo Sound Studios, New York, New York.

As an aside from the great minds think alike department: when I upped this album in August, I was expecting to be able to post it right away - but that was before some local school board matters hit the fan. I just couldn't get into doing much with music until after all that got settled. Turns out that the cats over at Destination Out upped a sampler of tracks from Marzette Watts Ensemble last week, along with an excellent summary.

I'm assuming that the cat listed as Robert Fews is actually Bobby Few.

Download Marzette Watts Ensemble