One of the Best
Samuel Chell | Kenosha,, WI United States | 05/06/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm still amazed that certain young bass players still invoke the name of Doug Watkins, especially since his records are no longer easy to come by and, moreover, frequently suffer from inferior audio quality. Transition was the only label to do justice to his rich sound and inerrant note choices, making it apparent why he was once held in the same high regard as Paul Chambers. Watkins didn't have to play "busy" solos: he could say more than countless bass "virtuosi" simply through his impeccably constructed, soulfully selected bass lines. And his time was not merely rock solid and steady: it was breathing, living, animated. Dig his lines on "Return to Paradise" (the Dimitri Tiomkin theme revived by Shirley Horn on "Here's to Life"). He manages to produce a groove that is so bouyant, light and free that the sensation is one of suspended time, or of a "circular" movement that defies any notion of termination. Sadly, that was not the case for the brief but lingering instant during which Watkins was with us.Despite the heavy company--Byrd, Mobley, Burrell, Duke Jordan--it's Watkins' supportive bass lines that shine on this date."