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Reviewed by Aleisha Ward

Neil Watson: Studies In Tubular

Reviewed by Aleisha Ward

Neil Watson: Studies In Tubular

Guitarist Neil Watson’s latest album is a confection of funky rock/soul/jazz, with a little bit of blues/country thrown in for good measure. Produced and recorded by Watson back in 2011 it also features a who’s who of Auckland jazz, with Olivier Holland on upright bass, Ron Samsom drums and percussion, Grant Winterburn on organ, Roger Manins’ baritone saxophone, Lewis McCallum, alto saxophone and Geoff Maddock on acoustic guitar. Mixed by Jeremy Toy and mastered by Alex Bennett the album takes a hybrid approach to the many and varied influences Watson has in his music. From the acoustic country styling of Kerala, to the hip Wes Montgomery blues jazz style of Wes De Money (bonus Easter eggs for Montgomery fans in that track!), through to the southern rock of Sweet Corn And Melon and the 1970s funk and boogie styles of Metres Ahead, Boog A-Gee and other tracks ‘Studies in Tubular’ might seem all over the map, but it adheres to hybridity as its core and takes the listener on a fun, toe-tapping ride. The core group of Watson (electric, acoustic and synth guitars), Holland, and Samsom provide tight, fierce, interplay with more than capable assistance from the other musicians. Grant Winterburn’s organ is of particular note, providing both groovy solos and subtle accompaniment in near equal measure.