|Ernie Watts Quartet
Flying Dolphin Records (c)2009
As you can see, there are two Ernie Watts Quartets.
(Although definitely only one Ernie!) One quartet is
based in California, the other is in Germany. Ernie
plays and records with each, but this is the first time
both quartets have appeared on the same recording project.
'Four plus Four' was recorded in two places, about nine
months apart: the US quartet was in Los Angeles, and
the German quartet was in Cologne. Each band plays three
tunes, but there is a total of seven, all originals
save one gorgeous standard, 'The Ballad of the Sad Young
Men'. 'Through My Window,' the Watts/Witham original
in the center of the CD, features both bands. The German
quartet begins the tune, and in the middle of the piece
there is a section left open for improvisation. They
improvise for a while, and the engineer gradually fades
the tune. Nine months later, the US quartet listens
to the music, then improvises with what they hear as
it plays, after which they complete the piece. Each
group has heard the other play many times through recordings,
and the musicians would love to finally meet, and have
a chance to play together. But for now, this is the
best opportunity. The US quartet has played together
for over twenty years now, and the European one for
more than ten, each on its own continent. Each group
has developed a cohesive, centered, lyrical sound all
its own, which shows clearly on the six individual-band
tunes. Ernie always says that such a group doesn't 'play'
music anymore; it 'becomes' music. On 'Through My Window'
these two bands become music together, 'Four plus Four'.
Purchase this CD online at CDBaby.com