Cleveland Watkiss

Green Chimneys

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AllMusic Review by

In the late '80s, Cleveland Watkiss was thought of as a British Bobby McFerrin; where has he been since? At the time of this CD, he showed a great deal of potential and was becoming more original. He is joined by some of the top young English jazz musicians of the era (including pianist Jason Rebello and, on a couple of separate songs, Courtney Pine and Steve Williamson on sopranos) with guest appearances from American drummer Clifford Jarvis and tenorman Jean Toussaint. Watkiss is the main star throughout, singing his words to Thelonious Monk's "Green Chimneys" and Wayne Shorter's "Seeds of Sin," and contributing some adventurous originals of his own. The comparisons with McFerrin apply most tonewise; Watkiss has a similar adventurous spirit, and both singers achieving a lot less in the 1990s than one might have expected. This increasingly hard-to-find CD is well worth searching for.

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