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vendredi 12 avril 2013

NOBLE WATTS




NOBLE WATTS
Blow Thin Man Blow

           
Noble "Thin Man" (ce surnom vient de sa ressemblance avec l'acteur William Powell qui incarnait le célèbre détective de Dashiell Hammett au cinéma) Watts (né le 17 février 1926 à DeLand en Floride) a fait des études de musique à l'Université A&M de Floride en compagnie des frères Adderley (Nat et "Cannonball"). Il apprend à jouer du violon et de la trompette mais se spécialise dans le saxophone.
William Powell, le "vrai" Thin Man

            Après un court passage dans l'orchestre des Griffin Brothers, Noble rejoint Paul 'Hucklebuck" Williams en 1952, enregistrant avec lui de nombreuses séances et accompagnant Dinah Washington, Amos Milburn, Ruth Brown, Lionel Hampton... En 1954, à Chicago, Noble enregistre un premier 45t pour DeLuxe puis en 1955 pour Vee Jay avant de partir s'installer à New York et, là, de véritablement démarrer une carrière de leader de son propre ensemble. Tout en restant toujours fidèle au jazz, Noble Watts est certainement un des saxophonistes les plus terriens de son époque, ne s'éloignant que rarement du blues. Avec l'adjonction du superbe et très imaginatif guitariste Wild Jimmy Spruill, sa musique flirte de plus en plus avec le Rock'n'roll et il émarge au genre avec plusieurs succès instrumentaux comme Blast off, Shakin', Flap Jack et Hard Times (The slop) qui pénètre même dans le Top 50 Pop en 1957.
            Les années suivantes le voient tourner de façon incessante en compagnie des plus grosses vedettes du Rock comme Jerry Lee Lewis, les Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry ou Little Richard.
            Après son mariage avec la belle chanteuse June Bateman, Noble reste davantage autour de New York où il assure les parties musicales des combats de boxe du Harlem Lounge tout en s'occupant activement de la carrière de son épouse avec des réussites comme le classique Possum belly overalls.
            La vogue des saxophonistes de Rock passant de mode dans les années 1960-70, Noble est obligé de réduire considérablement son orchestre et de se produire surtout dans des restaurants chics de la Floride où, lui et June, sont retournés s'installer. "Redécouvert" en 1987 par le producteur Bob Greenlee, Noble retrouve les scènes des festivals et le chemin des studios et enregistre encore plusieurs excellents albums pour Kingsnake/ Alligator ou Ichiban.
            Il décède d'une pneumonie le 24 août 2004 dans sa maison près de Miami.
                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT

Noble "Thin Man" (this nickname coming from a resemblance with William Powell who played the famous Dashiell Hammett's detective) Watts was born on February 17, 1926 in DeLand, Fl and followed musical training at the A&M Florida University alongside such future luminaries like Nat and "Cannonball" Adderley. Although he played violin and trumpet, he specialized into the saxophone.
            After short stints with several bands (The Griffin Brothers), Noble joined the famous Paul Williams Orchestra (Hucklebuck), playing and recording with them for several years. While in Chicago, he recorded some singles but his career started really when he relocated in New York in 1957. While still strongly influenced by the jazz, Noble Watts favoured a much bluesy and gutsy sound that the other saxophonists of the time, in part thanks to the strong presence in his band of Wild Jimmy Spruill, an adventurous, rocking and full of feeling young guitarist. During some years, Noble Watts recorded several hits (Blast off, Shakin, Flap Jack , Hard Times (The slop) that gave him a special notoriety among Rock'n'roll buffs. Noble and his band were constantly touring the USA with big R'n'r names like Jerry Lee Lewis, Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry or Little Richard.
            After his marriage with the singer June Bateman and tired of being on the road, Noble stayed in New York, taking a steady job as the leading band at the boxing Harlem Lounge and managing his wife's career.
            With the dwindling popularity of the honking saxes, Noble and June went back in Florida, playing mostly on supper lounges and small clubs. Rediscovered by producer Bob Greenlee, Noble went back to tour the blues festivals and recorded a string of LP's for Alligator and Ichiban.
            He died of pneumonia in his Florida's home on august 24 2004.
                                                                       Gérard HERZHAFT



NOBLE WATTS/ 1955-1968
Noble Watts, t-sax; Jimmy Smith, og; Floyd Smith, g; bs; Chris Colombus, dms. Baltimore, MD. 22 octobre 1954
Mashing potatoes
Pig ears and rice
(see Video of this 45 below)
Noble Watts, t-sax; Paul Williams, a-sax; Dabby Moore, tpt; Harlan Floyd, tb; Bobby Parker, t-sax; Lefty Bates, g; Clifton Small, pno; George Washington, bs; Wilfrid Eddleton, dms. Chicago, Ill. 17 décembre 1955
01. Give it up
02. Pass the buck
03. Big two four
04. South shore drive
05. Great times
Noble Watts, t-sax; Royal Hamilton, pno; Wild Jimmy Spruill, g; Willie Jenkins, dms. New York City, juillet 1957
06. Easy going I & II
07. Midnight flight
Noble Watts, t-sax; Royal Hamilton, pno; Wild Jimmy Spruill, g; Willie Jenkins, dms. New York City, octobre 1957
08. Hard times (The slop)
09. Walking the floor over you
10. Blast off
11. Rickey tick
Noble Watts, t-sax; Royal Hamilton, pno; Wild Jimmy Spruill, g; bs; Willie Jenkins, dms. New York City, 1958
12. The slide
13. The creep I & II
14. Shakin'
15. Flap Jack
16. Hot tamales
Noble Watts, t-sax; Royal Hamilton, pno; Wild Jimmy Spruill, g; bs; Willie Jenkins, dms. New York City, 1959
17. Original boogie woogie
18. Mashing potatoes
Noble Watts, t-sax; horns; Royal Hamilton, pno; Wild Bill Davis, og; Wild Jimmy Spruill, g; bs; Willie Jenkins, dms. New York City, 1960
19. The beaver
20. The frog hop
Noble Watts, t-sax; King Curtis, t-sax; Billy Butler, g; Wild Bill Davis, og; bs; Bernard Purdie, dms. New York City, 1962
21. Jookin'
Noble Watts, t-sax; band. Newark, NJ. 1963
Florida shake
Limbo authentique
Noble Watts, t-sax; band. New York City, 1964
22. Noble's theme
Noble Watts, t-sax; band. New York City, 1965
23. Teen scene
Leave that girl alone
John Friday's son
Noble Watts, t-sax; band. New York City, 12 juillet 1968
24. F.L.A.
25. Thing a majig

video

Thanks to Pierre Monnery for sharing this very rare Noble's 45 (his first)

6 commentaires:

  1. thanx for this! esp wild jimmy spruill..great stuff

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  2. Thanks again Gerard for all the excellent music here on your fine blog. It's always a frequent visit for me!

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  3. yea a spruill thing like larry dale u did wud be great! thanx for everything

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    Réponses
    1. Thanks. Jimmy Spruill is effectively one of the top notch blues and r'n'r guitarists of the 50's. I'd like to post a "complete" recordings but at this time I'm still missing three tracks to really being able to do so. Those missing tracks are:

      Honky Tonk hucklebuck
      Jumping in
      Chico Cha Cha

      If you or any good soul could provide me with a .mp3 copy of it I'd be able to complete the project.

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  4. Thanks Gerard for sharing your research and these rare cuts. This is so much more informative and enjoyable that a strictly album or strictly singles format.

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