Eric Watson

Silent Hearts

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

Silent Hearts was released in 1999 by the French label Free Flight. Sunnyside repackaged the album for its American release, timed to coincide with two rare New York performances by the expatriate pianist in the spring of 2001. Eric Watson is a daring jazz stylist, and his gifts are well-represented on this trio date with bassist Mark Dresser and drummer Ed Thigpen. The album's eight original compositions are opaque and unpredictable but always invitingly melodic, with clear formal contours and cohesive tempos. From the free bop lines of "Borrowed Time" and "Punchin Paich Patch" to the dense, ballad-like harmonies of "The Bystander" and "Sisters Take Sides," Watson displays an authoritative touch and a somewhat dark sensibility. The album cover photo, with its deep, watery green tint, conveys the essence of Watson's music to an uncommonly exact degree, in fact.

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