Dotsero – West of Westchester
West of Westchester
(Peak Records 2000)
by John Barrett
The sax stirs like aspoon, making a brew that’s smooth and tangy. Clacking rhythm starts “Westchester Lady”, helped by an old-stylesynth. (It sounds like Kraftwerk in theSeventies.) Guitars bounce through thetheme, and Stephen Watts parries his soprano is tougher than most. His tenor is also a treat, walkin’ proud on”Lodo Mojo”. He struts, but not like ashowoff; Dave Watts answers in rippling wah-wah licks. The harsh honks of “Shoulder Step” blendwith airy calm keyboards works great. And “Two of a Kind” has plenty of atmosphere: crashing waves, bottomlessbass, Morse code synth, and a lonely horn on a darkened street. This is the sound, and this is the group.
The disc stands outfor two reasons: good production, andthe tone of Steve’s horn. He blowsstrong on “Latest Night”, a tiny growl on the edge of his notes. Dave has his moment “When We’re Together”,where sitar swoops follow Montgomery octaves. (On “Staring at the Ceiling”, he’s joined by the Rippingtons’ RussFreeman; their strings converge as the sax groans.) The encore is a slab of cool funk, where icy keys meet a deadlybass. The horn doesn’t scream; its softauthority is sufficient. It is called”This Is How It Should Feel” and I certainly agree.