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"WATIV signals keyboardist Will Thompson's return to civilian life in New Orleans after his four years of service in the U.S. military in Iraq, during which he created his evocative and innovative debut album, Baghdad Music Journal. Like that debut, WATIV presents a compelling soundtrack, by turns lyrical and rambunctious, attentive to unusual shifts of nearly tactile textures as well as melodies that suggest specific times and places and rhythms that are as easy to feel as the traditional beat of a jazz funeral's second-line. Thompson, originally from Mississippi, has assembled a band that shares and expands on his palette. It's tempting to call this music "fusion" but it's more than that: it's expression. With guitarist Chris Alford, drummer Simon Lott and bassist Tommy Sciple, Will Thompson plays with the joy of life and freedom of imagination we Americans tend to take for granted. But he's been in war zones where such joy and freedom are hardly imaginable, and that experience imbues WATIV with a little something extra that haunts and enriches Will Thompson's music, lending it both mystery and glimpses of what's really real."
-- Howard Mandel (Author and president of the Jazz Journalists Association)
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