"What comes through is Watts' essential lyricism. There are some players with Ernie Watts' total command of an instrument who focus more on showing their technical prowess than on creating music. They equate showers of notes with saying something.
But Watts is always saying something-as musicians put it-through the mastery of his horn. Never in the least tentative, his authority comes through from note one.
And he swings like a tidal wave." So says legendary jazz journalist Nat Hentoff of Watts, who has delivered a brand new disc, "Oasis." With his European quartet,
Watts creates a synergy of jazz ranging from Dizzy and Bird to Lennon & McCartney and everything in between, including three tunes of his own.
Jamie Ousley is professor of jazz bass at Florida International University in Miami.
He was named Best South Florida Jazz Musician of 2011 by Boca Life magazine, and
his previous CD was named Best Jazz Release in South Florida by the Palm Beach Post. He tours internationally with his own trio, as well as having performed with jazz royalty such as George Shearing, Benny Golson and James Moody. He decided to record his new CD -- "A Sea of Voices" -- featuring water-inspired compositions, as a not-for-profit to benefit the environment. "I found the Sunshine State Interfaith Power and Light organization, whose mission is to mobilize faith communities in Florida to care for creation," Ousley explains. "Here, I could combine the worlds of diverse faiths and jazz to benefit a common cause: care of our planet."