The Watts Ensemble was born out of equal parts curiosity and ignorance. Brian Watson, who at the time had no idea what the circle of fifths was, embarked on a self induced dare to see how far he could take an idea. Would it be possible for a drummer with almost no musical training to not only write music for a large ensemble, but to possess the gumption to recruit, rehearse and record with said group, all the while hoping that his music wasn’t so mundane or ridiculous as to drive away any or all of the players. Luckily for the world, the answer is “indeed he could!”
After weeks of scouting on the information super-highway, the normal highway, and the train station, Brian Watson found the group of talented and awesome players that now make the Watts Ensemble what it is. Months of Monday night rehearsals in a garage with nothing but beer and cheer as compensation has now resulted in a full length album entitled “Two Suites for Crime & Time.”
While the music on “Two Suites” borrows heavily from other sources, there are enough influences converging on top of one another so as to render the music original. Though the “Suite for Crime” is inspired by the Crime Jazz and Soundtrack Music of the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s, it in no way attempts to simply recreate a carbon copy of music past. Elements of the present are just as prevalent as elements of yesterday.
The “Suite for Time” is a longer and more cohesive piece, inspired quite literally by what each season represented to the composer. And while there are four movements, one for each season, it is most definitely not a re-imagined version of Vilvadi’s landmark work, this you can be sure. It is much stranger than all of that.