Taylor Watson is quite the accomplished musician. Allow me to get his credentials out of the way first.
Leaving Oberlin College after studying jazz guitar and political science (with a semester in Spain studying Spanish music), Mr. Watson moved to San Francisco and formed the jazz group Cafe Con Leche.
He then found himself making multiple trips to Cuba and Brazil to study their musical traditions. His group, Son de Brooklyn, recorded in the well known Egrem Studios in Havana.
Taylor [who’s primary instruments are guitar and the tres] now resides in New York City teaching jazz and band to the younger generations.
But that’s not all, Mr. Watson has performed:
…with jazz luminaries Freddie Hubbard, Howard Alden, Gene Bertoncini, and Wynton Marsalis. He has also studied and played with some of Latin music’s fantastic musicians: Andy Gonzalez (Manny Oquendo’s Libre), Jerry Gonzalez (Fort Apache), Paquito d’ Rivera (Irakere), Rebeca Mauleon (Author of the Salsa Guidebook), Marcos Silva (Viva Brasil), Conjunto Chappotin (Havana, Cuba) and famed tres player Nelson Gonzalez (Cachao, Marc Anthony), who he considers a mentor on this difficult instrument.
Places, Faces, and Embraces is Taylor Watson’s newest contribution to jazz [fusion/world] music.
A beautifully composed album, Taylor fuses all of his experiences and influences into one record that can be enjoyed over and over….and over again.
I am no jazz expert, but I know great music when I hear it.
This is an album I would enjoy through headphones while kicking back to a soothing ocean breeze while sipping cold beverages.
Alternatively, I have been turning it up in the studio and enjoying it just the same.
If my wife were here, she would probably make me jump up and dance with her…
Including 12 songs stretching out to over 1 hour in length, Taylor Watson has given us a longer record than we might be used to but there is not a dull second among these compositions.
Other musicians that joined Taylor on the album [and deserve their credit] include: Ali Bello: Violin, Will Clark: Drums, Josh Paris: Bass, and Tim Sullivan: Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Flute.
Kamilo Kratc at Soundworks Recording Studio in Astoria, NY deserves recording, mixing, and mastering credits for Places, Faces, Embraces.