Interviews by Alexander McLean
Kansas native Bobby Watson has done a lot of living at age 61. The saxophonist started young but his real education came in Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in the late '70's, going on to work with jazz legends like Max Roach and the Marsalis Brothers as well as backing up notable singers like Joe Williams, Dianne Reeves, Lou Rawls and Betty Carter. Watson went on to form his own group, Horizon, in the mid '80's, recording albums for Blue Note among other places as well as leading larger bands like High Court of Swing (honoring Ellington sax man Johnny Hodges) and the Tailor Made Big Band. He also became an award-winning educating, teaching in NYC and back home in Kansas also, with a number of his own students featured in some of his bands.
What we have below is a series of six video interviews with Watson, all done in May 2015, on the morning before his show at Ronnie Scott's in London. In the course of 28 minutes, he covers everything from the beginning of his own career (playing in church), his health, his most recent album (2013's Check Cashing Day), his thoughts on working with jazz greats Sam Rivers, Max Roach and Wynton Marsalis as well as a famous actor you've probably heard of, who he calls 'a frustrated saxophone player.'
Thanks to photographer Siobhan Bradshaw for her help with the videos.
For more about Watson, see his website
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