Woody Witt – Pots and Kettles (2011)

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If you’re a jazz fan in the Houston, Texas, area, you’ve surely heard of saxophonist Woody Witt. A tireless music educator around town, the manager and artistic director of one of Houston’s few jazz clubs, and a recording artist in his own right, Witt has a long list of credentials that could easily make up an entire long article on its own.

But for now, we’ll focus on his eighth album in just nine years, Pots and Kettles. On this record, Witt splits the songwriting duties with his trusty pianist Gary Norian, with a couple of cool Eddie Harris covers thrown in (“Listen Here” and “Crying Blues”). Witt, who plays mostly tenor sax with a little soprano on the side, has a style that splits the difference between Harris and Michael Brecker, a nice place to be.

Guitarist Chris Cortez joins in for the Harris tunes, plus Witt’s very contemporary and urbane composition “Loose Change” (video of live performance below). Witt and Cortez make up part of Harvie S’s “Texas” band that helped Harvie record the SER 2010 Best Of selection Cocolamus Bridge.

The chemistry amongst all these Houston-based players, which also includes Mark Simmons (drums) and Anthony Sapp (bass), makes Woody’s latest a real tight and flawless date of a modernized take on post-bop jazz. With just the right mix of bop, soul-jazz and ballads, Pots and Kettles is recommended for mainstream jazz lovers both inside and outside of the Bayou City.

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Pots and Kettles, out on July 1, is Witt’s third release for Blue Bamboo Music.

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SVictorAaron
S. Victor Aaron

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