Saturday, 16 September 2017

Closer to You by Trevor Watts Amalgam reviewed by Stewart Smith in The Wire 401

Reissued for the first time, 1979's Closer to You finds Trevor Watts blowing over superbad grooves and slinky blues riffs. 'De Dublin Ting' is a tight bit of free funk, with drummer Liam Genockey racing through Clyde Stubblefield-meets-Rashied Ali grooves. Colin McKenzie's in the pocket bass guitar provides an anchor, but can be a little stodgy, lagging behind Genockey's tearaway drumming. 'South of Nowhere' opens with McKenzie playing John McLaughlin-esque harmonics under Watts's soulful alto, before an angular groove heralds a leap into freedom. A 19 minute tribute to Roland Kirk, 'Dear Roland' begins with Watts playing two horns over understated bass throbs, resonant gongs and rumbling toms. With shades of Miles Davis's 'He loved him Madly' it's the album's clear highlight, with gorgeously mournful playing from Watts.

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