Marzette Watts & Company – Marzette Watts & Company

Marzette Watts has his finger is almost every arts pie. He has worked in many medium like musician, painting, composer, audio engineer, and experimental filmmaker. On top of all that he is a political activist. As a musician he is pretty much unknown unless you are a real fanatic. The ESP label has remastered his debut album and rereleased it. Very interesting aspects (besides the music) of the remastered version are the new liner notes and photos. As a warning, unless you are a fan of this type of jazz – avant-garde or free – then stay away as it will just frustrate or bore you. If you look simply at the album jacket then you might be miffed at the fact that there are only three tracks.  Remember this is avant-garde jazz so the songs are long. There is thirty-seven minutes of music. Recorded originally in 1966, the music reflects the turbulent times. What makes this CD a must for jazz officianos is not only the rareness of recorded material by Watts but the quality of his supporting musicians. The “Company” is made up of Byard Lancaster (sax, flute, clarinet), Sonny Sharrock (guitar), Karl Berger (vibraphonist), Henry Grimes (bass), J.C. Moses (drums), and Clifford Thornton (trombone and cornet). Pay particular attention to the guitar playing by Sharrock as it is way ahead of its time.

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