Sun. Dec. 05, 2021

Jazz/Funk guitarist Wah Wah Watson passed, aged 67

Wah Wah WatsonHere we go, once again with some bad news in our community. This with the passing of world famous Jazz/Funk guitarist Wah Wah Watson

In a press statement released this Wednesday Oct. 24, 2018, Itsuko Aono made the following announcement… “It is with a heavy heart that we regret to announce the passing of my loving husband Wah Wah Watson today at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica.” “He will be greatly missed, but his music is eternal.” “Wherever he is, he’s groovin’.”

A native of Richmond, VA, Melvin Ragin mostly made himself a name as a session guitarist. Famed for his skills with a wah wah pedal (hence his nickname). Relocating to Detroit, MI, he first came to recognition as a member of Motown Records house band The Funk Brothers. Thus recording with luminaries such as The Jackson 5 (‘ABC’), The Temptations (‘Masterpiece’) and Marvin Gaye (‘Let’s Get It On’). Not to mention Rose Royce (‘Car Wash’). Or Webster Lewis (‘You Deserve To Dance’). Then quickly broadening his portofolio meanwhile collaborating with Michael Jackson (‘Off The Wall’) and Herbie Hancock. But also Brian McKnight, Meshell NdegéOcello or Maxwell to name a few.

Wah Wah Watson ironically released only one album on his own. ‘Elementary’, back in 1976. It includes the quintessential ‘Goo Goo Wah Wah’. Jammin’ along with luminaries such as Louis Johnson (bass), Ray Parker, Jr. (guitar), Joe Sample (piano) and Ollie Brown on drums…

We catch him thereafter along with Herbie Hancock, but also Ray Parker, Jr. and Paul Jackson (on bass) among others. This on this live version of ‘Hang Up Your Hang Ups’, from Herbie Hancok‘s 1975 album ‘Man-Child’.

Cover pic: Wah Wah Watson along with Paul Jackson on bass at the Pori Jazz Festival in Finland (July 16-18, 1976). © Olli Laasanen

Indamixworldwide would like to express their deepest condolences to Wah Wah Watson‘s family and friends…

Tribute: Wah Wah Watson

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