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Wah-Wah Watson: Elementary

Album Notes

After years of infusing his wah-wah guitar licks on countless sessions, Melvin "Wah Wah Watson" Ragin cut a deal with Columbia Records for this unsuccessful solo album that did so poorly Watson didn't have another solo release for 24 years. Columbia pushed this as fusion-jazz; well, some of it is, but it's really just good "head music." "Cry Baby" sounds like a track left off Sly & the Family Stone's There's a Riot Going On album; not a sad tune as its title suggests, but a jaunty stepper more related to funk than jazz. "Bubbles" is soft and understated with a clandestine groove, with Watson easing up on the wah-wah's. You'd think Norman Whitfield was in the studio on "Goo Goo Wah Wah" going by the countless gadgets and studio tricks employed on this likeable sprinter that's pushed by threatening tomtom drums: great chase music. Some of L.A.'s finest studio musicians are with Watson on this one. ~ Andrew Hamilton


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