Bobby Watson releases a bold an conceptually well rounded reflection on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
Normally conceptually based recordings that attempt to attach themselves to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. are self serving and easily identifiable attempts to ride on the coat tails of a true visionary by artists that have no other means to sell their product. I refer specifically to a handful of artists that embrace the #BAM philosophy that died faster than "Hope and Change."
Bobby Watson raises the bar of socially conscious music and puts others on notice that to stray from the path of truth to embrace a narcissistic path of righteous indignation in an attempt to line your own pockets puts you in the same category as poverty pimps Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. The basic foundation of this release is the anniversary of the iconic "I Have A Dream Speech." The interesting twist is that instead of focusing on the speech itself, Watson explores the "check cashing day" concept of fulfilling the dream of the late civil rights leader.
To wax poetic on the amazing talent that is Bobby Watson would be plunking the proverbial one string banjo. The true brilliance of Watson is served up in an incredibly balanced and well thought out concept of where we are as a nation and where we may be heading. While Watson's contemporaries use race and civil rights as strictly a tool for monetary gain, Bobby Watson stays true to the original concept of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
A significant release on a multitude of levels.
Tracks: Sweet Dreams; Check Cashing Day; At The Crossroads; Black Is Back; A Blues Of Hope; Forty Acres And A Mule; Dark Days; Seekers Of The Sun (Son); Progress; Black Is Back (Reprise); The Triad; My Song; MLK On Jazz; Revival; Come Sunday.
Personnel: Hermon Mehari: Trumpet; Bobby Watson: Saxophone; Richard Johnson: Piano; Eric Kennedy: Drums; Curtis Lundy: Bass; Glenn North: Original Poetry And Spoken Word; Pamela Baskin-Watson: Vocals; Horace Washington: Flute; Karita Carter: Trombone.