Andy Watts | The Way Back From Here | February 23, 2024

Release: February 23, 2024

Following over 15 years on the stage and tour with the internationally renowned London Afrobeat Collective, celebrated New Zealand trumpeter Andy Wattsannounces his forthcoming solo release ‘The Way Back From Here’

In an attempt to put a positive spin on the forced indoor time brought on by the pandemic, Watts took the opportunity to step back from the fast-paced modern music industry to explore new approaches to his instrument. 

Playing a unique custom long model cornet (designed and built by Leigh McKinney at Eclipse Trumpets) anddelving into his interest in effects pedals, Watts drew on his usual practice routine of improvising over a droneand built a collection of effected cornet sounds to serve as compositional building blocks.

“I’ve always been fascinated by 20th century composers like Steve Reich and John Cage, and the way they developed powerful compositions from elements that might at first seem insignificant. I’ve tried to take a similar approach with this album, beginning with samples of a digital Tanpura (an Indian drone instrument) then building small thematic blocks, and developing them into something much bigger.”

Dancing fluidly over the lines of groove, improvisation, and modern production, Watts enlisted the talents of his colleagues Filippo Galli on drums, Joe Edwards on guitar and Ritchie Sweet on percussion to elevate his dense soundscapes and lyrical cornet lines into an energetic and intricately layered recorded statement. Searing guitar solos, afrobeat inspired drum grooves, bebop, blues and contemporary jazz tinted melodies, and rich electronically manipulated textures come together to recount an artist’s determined quest to fall back in love with his craft. 

Almost programmatic in nature, the record’s six tracks see the listener journey through Watts’ feelings of uncertainty, frustration, acceptance, meditation, and eventual triumph.

Line up

Andy Watts | Cornet, Effects, Bass, Drones, Composition, Production
Filippo Galli 
| Drums
Joe Edwards 
| Guitar (Track 1)
Richie Sweet 
| Percussion (Track 3)

Track Listing

A Strange Beginning
An Unsure Thing
The Way Back From Here
Out Of Season
Exit Strategy
Working As Intended

Listen Here