Bobby Watson

This Little Light of Mine

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Bobby Watson accepted the challenge of doing an entire CD of unaccompanied alto saxophone solos and succeeded in putting together an outstanding, wide-ranging collection. The opener, Thelonious Monk's "Misterioso," finds him alternating between the theme and improvisations that show off his brilliant technique. By comparison, the up-tempo runs through Charlie Parker's "Donna Lee" and the Latin favorite "Tico Tico" seem almost effortless as his ideas spring forth. He also explores Joe Henderson's "Recorda Me," John Coltrane's "Giant Steps," and every saxophonist's mandatory ballad, "Body and Soul," with the same degree of adventure and risk-taking. The old spiritual "This Little Light of Mine" is subtle and soulful. Watson also composed five of the songs, with the catchy miniature blues "Five One Four" standing out from the pack. The only real complaint with the CD is the label's extremely sloppy typesetting on the back of the booklet, as there several errors in the listings of songs and composers.

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