Preview of Bobby Watson’s “Back Home in Kansas City” featured on WBGO’s New Day, New Play
Like all players of substance, saxophonist Bobby Watson knows that traction comes from looking over your shoulder…what you have experienced, directly or indirectly. That's where the push forward comes from. Born in Kansas City, and now living there again, Watson has always possessed a founding line at 18th & Vine, which has given him the creativity to imagine, or reimagine. He calls his alto "a singing horn," the quality in his hands apparent throughout Back Home in Kansas City. "Great melodies are immortal," Bobby says. Considering that, the title track is a contrafact of "Back Home in Indiana." There are Watson originals inspired by Herbie Hancock, a John Coltrane composition, alongside tunes brought to the date by bandmates, including pianist Cyrus Chestnut, drummer Victor Jones, trumpeter Jeremy Pelt and long-time musical partner, bassist Curtis Lundy. Curtis’ sister, singer Carmen Lundy, guests on "Our Love Remains," a gorgeous story penned by Bobby and his wife Pamela.
The noted alto saxophonist spoke with WBGO’s Sheila Anderson about his hometown and its significance in jazz history, as well as about how the city inspired the music on this album. Watch their conversation here:
Listen to the album’s title track, “Back Home from Kansas City,” above.