One of Bobby Watson's best 1980s outings, LOVE REMAINS presents the lauded saxophonist (and former Jazz Messenger) in small-ensemble mode, leading an exceptional set that also prominently features renowned pianist John Hicks. While echoes of John Coltrane can easily be heard in Watson's inviting-yet-adventurous playing throughout, "Dark Days," dedicated to Nelson Mandela, finds the alto player in a more subdued and plaintive mood, effectively displaying the range of his dynamic sound, which can easily shift from avant-garde to accessible. Impressively avoiding many of the slick production trappings of the era, this '86 album perfectly embodies Watson's refined aesthetic, and stands out one of the finest recordings in his catalogue.
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