Jeff "Tain" Watts
The New York Times described Tain’s style as ”a kind of pure, extremely musical percussion. He spends time inside rhythmic patterns that are complex, but not flashy. He sounds as if he’s knocking down the formalized patterns of jazz drumming and starting from scratch.”
Having majored in classical percussion at Pittsburgh’s Duquesne University, Jeff Watts studied jazz at the Berklee School of Music. He has done long stints and won several Grammies with the Bransalis borthers, first with Wynton, later with his Berklee buddy Branford. Also Betty Carter, McCoy Tyner, Steve Coleman, Alice and Ravi Coltrane and many others have turned to Jeff for rhythmic support. For three years he was the drummer on US tv’s Tonight Show. In Spike Lee’s Mo’ Better Blues Jeff played a role. He is a prolific composer and currently leads two bands: The Watts Project and The Jeff ”Tain” Watts 4. Of his eight own albums the latest is Family. It came out in the spring on his own Dark Key label and features James Genus on bass, Dave Kikoski on piano and Steve Wilson on saxophones.