The following are liner notes from the recording written by former Miles Davis sideman, saxophonist, Bill Evans:
Jazz is a form of expression. Like any language, it takes a lifetime of performing and learning in order to play at the highest level, to allow it to sound effortless and free. Regardless of which instrument you decide to use as your vehicle to play jazz, the basic idea of jazz remains the same. It is a story that is being told from the performer to the listener. It is intimate, humorous, whimsical and abstract. These are adjectives I would use to describe the latest work by saxophonist/composer Woody Witt.
Based out of Houston, Texas, Woody has been performing for most of his life. The main goal of most jazz musicians is to tell a story with their music and take the listener on their own personal musical journey. Woody accomplishes this and far more on his eighth CD as a leader called "Pots and Kettles."
The CD starts out with the title track, "Pots and Kettles." It is reminiscent of the writing of the late great Don Grolnick, with its very childlike melody. Woody starts his solo slowly, building to an emotional crescendo that releases into an exciting piano solo by Gary Norian. To complete the rhythm section there is Anthony Sapp, bass, Mark Simmons, drums, and Chris Cortez, guitar (on 3 tracks). They all have the sensitivity to really shine as individuals with their own personal styles. I, as the listener, feel they can really communicate as one unit, playing off each other's nuances and allowing the music to flow effortlessly.
The second song, called "Listen Here," is practically a Soul Jazz classic made popular by the late great saxophonist Eddie Harris and pianist Les McCann from their "Live in Montreux" session recorded in 1969. Here, Woody shows us his soulful side, while tipping his hat to Harris. The rhythm section grooves and swings hard. Harris would have been proud!
With gorgeous ballads like "Never Very Far" and "Just Because" you hear some of the depth and beauty of this recording. The music is allowed to breathe and take on a spirit all its own.
"Pots and Kettles" is a refreshing work of music by musicians who are playing the art form at its highest level. While listening I am sometimes reminded of the old Blue Note jazz recordings of the early sixties, while at the same time the writing and playing is very contemporary and modern. Like a piece of art, I'm sure with each listen I will hear different things in the music. This music is ageless.