LIVE: Jeff “Tain” Watts Quintet @ The Falcon, 12/11/16

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Jeff "Tain" Watts
Jeff “Tain” Watts

Review and photographs by Rudy Lu

Drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts’ performance at The Falcon in Marlboro was originally billed as a trio, but the actual performance was by a quintet of jazz virtuosos. Frequently, all-star bands do not live up to their expectations; this one, however, was quite the exception. The band was formed specifically for a show next month at the Jazz Standard in NYC to celebrate Watts’ 56th birthday, but this “rehearsal” proved to be quite the performance.

With Watts driving the band with his big beat and singing a few humorous vocals, this quintet swung and swooped like a bird in flight with their wild interplay and virtuoso solos that never failed to click.

Watts played on saxophonist Ravi Coltrane’s debut album back in 1997, their performance at the Falcon showcased the rapport they established 20 years ago.

David Kikoski is a dramatic, dynamic pianist who is as fun to watch, as he is to listen to. He emanates the joy of his notes through his entire body. He played at A Place for Jazz earlier this fall as an accompanist for singer Denise Donatelli.

Bassist Yunior Terry is well known in the Latin jazz world. His propulsive beat served as an excellent foil for the rest of the band.

Paul Bollenbeck added plenty of body to the sound of the band. Fluid guitar leads and duels with the piano and sax added excitement to the sound.

Unfortunately, the threat of a winter storm limited the size of what should been a full house. The storm that was supposed to materialize did not appear during my long drive home to Schenectady. It didn’t arrive until later, but even a drive through a snowstorm would have made this road trip worthwhile.

GO HERE to see more of Rudy Lu’s photographs of this concert…

Jeff "Tain" Watts
Jeff “Tain” Watts
David Kiksoki, Ravi Coltrane and Paul Bollenbeck
David Kiksoki, Ravi Coltrane and Paul Bollenbeck
Yunior Terry
Yunior Terry
Ravi Coltrane
Ravi Coltrane
Paul Bollenbeck
Paul Bollenbeck
David Kikoski
David Kikoski
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1 Comment
  1. Jeff Watts says

    Thx for listening. 3 things: This was a version of my band from 18 years ago. Ravi appears on my 2nd Columbia release “BarTalk”. In addition to playing, I composed and arranged all of the music you heard. Happy New Year !!!

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