Bobby Watson

Horizon Reassembled

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For his second Palmetto Records release, saxophonist Bobby Watson reassembles his 1990 hard bop quintet known as Horizon. On Horizon Reassembled the quintet that fans referred to as "the happy band" revisit their commitment to the music and to themselves on such great songs as "Pere," "Xangongo," "Eeeyyess," and "Horizon Reassembled." The set opens with "Lemoncello," a hard bop gem that allows each soloist lots of room to express his ideas and themes. On "Pere," pianist Edward Simon sets up a tapestry of sound on his original contribution, by rolling his chords rhythmically instead of using the typical, punctuated style of comping. He also offers one of the best solos on the set through his blazing piano talk on the title track. Bassist Essiet Essiet brings his African roots to "Xangongo." His exciting world music basslines provide a solid foundation for the fast-paced horn and piano solos. Bobby Watson's alto saxophone playing is more mature and extremely expressive. He pays more attention to subtlety and dynamics than with previous incarnations of Horizon. His intense phrasings on "Eeeyyess" and "Ginger Bread Boy" provide the perfect foil for Terell Stafford's clarion top notes. Drummer Victor Lewis is also in great form with his great cymbal choices. Overall, Horizon Reassembled is entertaining and packed with great jazz moments. However, this reunion offers more significant concepts and improvisations than on their previous releases.

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