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Charles Waters

Imagine the picture of Charles Waters as a boy, singing in his local Baptist Church. Now, add some years to the kid and visualize him learning the clarinet with a classical musician (Eugene Kavadlo of the Charlotte Symphony). Finally, think of him as a grown up man playing free jazz with William Parker’s Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra and Chris Jona’s Brooklyn Comprovisers Orchestra. Yes, you’re right: he walked a long way. And not only the distance between Atlanta, where he lived until the Nineties, and New York: he not only crossed the necessary stages in music learning and in music creation, as he crossed genres and music cultures. Besides playing saxophones (mainly alto) and being a clarinetist (mainly soprano) as an improviser, he his a composer solidly rooted in the European classical tradition and in contemporary music. He’s reconstructing Bach’s Bradenburg Concertos, Olivier Messiaen was the reference of his “Tonarium Vesperale” and he writes scores for chamber ensembles – one of those, “Anti/Cerio”, was premiered recently. If the kind of improvisation practiced by the group he co-founded with Andrew Barker, Gold Sparkle Band, is particularly heavy – in the line of the Ornette Coleman’s quartet with Don Cherry, Charlie Haden and Ed Blackwell or Billy Higgins –, it has also a degree of complexity not very usual in this field. For some reason Waters was compiled in the album “Morton Feldman Jazz Tributes”, a colective hommage to the late figure of the New York School of New Music, among the likes of Larry Ochs and Ken Vandermark.

Charles Waters's records on clean feed
Thunder Reminded Me
Gold Sparkle Trio
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