• Kobie Watkins

For much of the current decade, drummer and Chicago native Kobie Watkins—he moved to New York in 2007, then to North Carolina earlier this year—has worked behind some of our city’s best-known jazzers, including guitarist Bobby Broom, pianist Ryan Cohan, and singer Kurt Elling. Since last year he’s been the drummer of choice for Sonny Rollins. You’d expect a sideman as flexible, talented, and experienced as Watkins to come on strong on his first recording as a bandleader—it makes sense that he’d want to show off everything he can do when he’s calling the shots.