Monday, November 23, 2009
Bobby Watson: The Plastic Sax Person of the Decade
There's no getting around it. The Kansas City jazz scene has suffered greatly during the past ten years. Don't blame Bobby Watson. Without his vital presence, the decade might have been a complete disaster.
Watson accepted an invitation to become an instructor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2000. As director of jazz studies at UMKC he's overseen the development of dozens if not hundreds of musicians. These young hopefuls have been a fresh and enthusiastic presence both as fans and as performers at Kansas City's jazz venues. All but one member of the exciting new band Diverse, for instance, are proteges of Watson.
His academic endeavors haven't prevented Watson from becoming the most famous Kansas City-based jazz musician. A fiery saxophonist, Watson tours the world and records frequently. In addition to releasing five albums as a leader this decade, he's racked up an extensive list of recent recording credits.
As if all that wasn't enough, the Kansas City, Kansas, native is a tremendously nice guy. Thank you, Bobby, for your invaluable contributions to Kansas City.