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Jeff "Tain" Watts

Jeff "Tain" Watts (born January 20, 1960) is a jazz drummer who has performed with Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Betty Carter, Michael Brecker, Alice Coltrane, Ravi Coltrane, and others. Jeff is a 2017 Guggenheim Fellow in the field of music composition.

Jeff "Tain" Watts
Jeff Tain Watts.jpg
Watts performing with Wynton Marsalis in JazzFest 2007
Background information
Born (1960-01-20) January 20, 1960 (age 59)
OriginPittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US
GenresJazz
Occupation(s)Musician, bandleader, actor
InstrumentsDrums
LabelsDark Key Music
Associated actsWynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Kevin Eubanks, The Tonight Show Band
Websitetainish.com

BiographyEdit

Jeff "Tain" Watts holds the unique distinction of being the only musician to appear on every Grammy Award-winning jazz record by both Wynton and Branford Marsalis.

He got the nickname "Tain" from Kenny Kirkland when they were on tour in Florida and drove past a Chieftain gas station.[1]

Watts has worked in the film and television industry as both a musician on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno for three years, on multiple soundtracks including with Harry Connick Jr. on the Grammy winning "When Harry Met Sally" soundtrack album, and as an actor playing Rhythm Jones in Spike Lee's Mo' Better Blues. Watts performed and recorded with the Branford Marsalis Quartet from 1985 to 2009. He currently performs with his own groups The Watts Project and the Jeff "Tain" Watts Quartet, as well as with McCoy Tyner, The George Cables Project, and Ravi Coltrane. In 2007 Watts started his own record label, Dark Key Music, releasing Folk's Songs in 2007, Watts in 2009, Family in 2011, and Blue Vol. 1& 2 in 2018. Terence Blanchard won the 2010 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Solo for Dark Key Music's "Dancin' 4 Chicken" from Watts. Jeff writes most of the compositions on his own albums and was awarded a 2017 Guggenheim Fellowship in Music Composition.

DiscographyEdit

As leaderEdit

  • Megawatts (2004, originally recorded in 1991), Sunnyside
  • Citizen Tain (1999), Sony
  • Bar Talk (2002), Sony
  • DeTAINed at the Blue Note (2004), Halfnote
  • Folk's Songs (2007), Dark Key Music
  • WATTS (2009), Dark Key Music
  • Family (2011), Dark Key Music
  • Blue, Vol. 1 (2015), Dark Key Music
  • Wattify (2016), Dark Key Music
  • Blue, Vol. 2 (2016), Dark Key Music
  • Travel Band - Detained in Amsterdam (2018), Dark Key Music

As sidemanEdit

RecognitionEdit

Grammy AwardsEdit

  • Career Wins: 7[2]
  • Career Nominations: 15
Jeff "Tain" Watts Grammy History
Year Category Title Genre Label Result Notes
1986 Best Jazz Instrumental Performance - Group Black Codes From The Underground Jazz Columbia Winner with Wynton Marsalis.
1987 Best Jazz Instrumental Performance - Group J Mood Jazz Columbia Winner with Wynton Marsalis.
1988 Best Jazz Instrumental Performance - Group Marsalis Standard Time - Volume 1 Jazz Columbia Winner with Wynton Marsalis.
1988 Best Jazz Instrumental Performance - Group Trio Jeepy Jazz Columbia Nominated with Branford Marsalis
1990 Best Jazz Instrumental Performance - Group Mo Better Blues (soundtrack) Jazz CBS Nominated with the Branford Marsalis Quartet.
1990 Best Jazz Male Vocal Performance When Harry Met Sally (soundtrack) Jazz Colombia Winner with Harry Connick Jr.
1993 Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Individual Or Group I Heard You Twice The First Time Jazz Columbia Winner with the Branford Marsalis Quartet.
1996 Best Jazz Instrumental Album PanaMonk Jazz Impulse Nominated with Danilo Perez.
1998 Best Jazz Instrumental Album Songbook Jazz Warner Bros. Nominated with Kenny Garrett.
2000 Best Jazz Instrumental Album by an Individual or Group Requiem Jazz Columbia Nominated with the Branford Marsalis Quartet.
2000 Best Jazz Instrumental Album by an Individual or Group Time is of the Essence Jazz Verve Nominated with Michael Brecker
2001 Best Jazz Instrumental Album by an Individual or Group Contemporary Jazz Jazz Columbia Winner with the Branford Marsalis Quartet.
2001 Best Latin Jazz Album Refugee Jazz Verve Nominated with Hector Martignon.
2005 Best Jazz Instrumental Album by an Individual or Group Eternal Jazz Marsalis Music Nominated with the Branford Marsalis Quartet.
2010 Best Jazz Instrumental Solo Watts Jazz Dark Key (Watts' label) Winner Terence Blanchard for the track "Dancin' 4 Chicken"
2011 Best Jazz Instrumental Album by an Individual or Group Positootly! Jazz Resonance Records Nominated with John Beasley.
2011 Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album Mingus Big Band Live at Jazz Standard Jazz Mingus Workshop, Inc/Jazz Standard Winner with the Mingus Big Band

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ From an interview with Kevin LeGendre for Jazz On 3 on BBC Radio 3.
  2. ^ Grammy Awards list Archived February 4, 2010, at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit