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  • Jeff Watts (2003)

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    Innovative and influential drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts holds the distinction of being the only musician to appear on every Grammy Award winning jazz record by both Wynton and Branford Marsalis. As a bandleader, Tain has established himself as one of jazz music’s most unique and creative composers, evidenced by his four solo albums and in performance with the dynamic Jeff “Tain” Watts Quartet.

    One of the most in demand jazz drummers in the world today, Jeff initially majored in classical percussion at Pittsburgh's Duquesne University, where he was primarily a timpanist, followed by enrollment at the Berklee School of Music, where he pursued jazz studies alongside such talented players as Branford Marsalis, Kevin Eubanks, Greg Osby, Aimee Mann, Steve Vai and Marvin "Smitty" Smith.

    Jeff joined the Wynton Marsalis Quartet in 1981 and proceeded to win three Grammy Awards with the ensemble. Watts left Wynton Marsalis in 1988. After working with George Benson, Harry Connick. Jr. and McCoy Tyner, he joined the Branford Marsalis Quartet in 1989.

    Jeff has worked in the film and television industry as both a musician on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and as an actor, Rhythm Jones in Spike Lee’s "Mo Better Blues". Jeff joined Kenny Garrett's band after returning to New York in 1995 after three years in LA on the Tonight Show. Watts also continued to record and tour with Branford Marsalis as well as Danilo Perez, Michael Brecker, Betty Carter, Kenny Kirkland, Courtney Pine, Geri Allen, Alice Coltrane, Greg Osby, Steve Coleman, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, and Ravi Coltrane.

    Jeff has an extensive discography as a side-man, as well as five albums as a leader:
    "Citizen Tain" (Sony 1999),
    "Bar Talk" (Sony 2002),
    "MegaWatts" (Sunnyside 2003)
    "Detained, Live at the Blue Note" (Half Note 2004) and
    "Folk's Songs" (Dark Key Music 2007)
    Jeff was the producer for his 2002 Sony Records release, "Bar Talk", his 2004 Half Note Records release, "Detained" and 2007 Dark Key Music release, "Folk's Songs"

    Along with explosive power, blinding speed and mastery of complex rhythms and time signatures, Watts brings a rare sense of elegance, tried-by-fire composure, and a gritty street funk to his music. His artistic ingenuity expresses itself in his incomparable technique, sweltering sense of swing, and an extraordinary ability to imbue his music with majestic grace and elegant repose. A true jazz innovator, Watts never fails to deliver the percussive magic that has been his trademark since his emergence on the contemporary jazz scene.
    Pick Artist Album Song Label
    # 1 Aretha Franklin Live at the Fillmore West Respect (Rhino)
    # 2 Thelonious Monk Thelonious Monk Plays Duke Ellington I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart (OJC)
    # 3 Jimi Hendrix Band of Gypsys Who Knows? (Capitol)
    # 4 Keith Jarrett At the Deer Head Inn Bye Bye, Blackbird (ECM)
    # 5 John Coltrane Crescent Crescent (Impulse)
    # 6 Björk Homogenic N/A (Elektra)
    # 7 Miles Davis Miles Smiles Gingerbread Boy (Columbia)
    # 8 Stevie Wonder Talking Book Superstition (Motown)
    Book Alan Watts, "The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are"
    Luxury Item A juicer
    Alternate Picks/Not Broadcast
    Alt 1 J.S. Bach Cello Suites N/A N/A
    Alt 2 Ludwig van Beethoven N/A N/A N/A
    Alt 3 James Brown N/A N/A N/A
    Alt 4 Anton Dvorak N/A N/A N/A
    Alt 5 Funkadelic N/A N/A N/A
    Alt 6 Shirley Horn N/A N/A N/A
    Alt 7 Charlie Parker N/A N/A N/A
    Alt 8 Alexander Scriabin N/A N/A N/A
    Alt 9 Los Van Van N/A N/A N/A
    Castaways by date
    George Cotsirilos
    09 Feb
    Ed Klitsch
    05 Jan