And on the saxophone, that's Kim WatersWhen your mother...


July 05, 1992|By Mary Corey | Mary Corey,Staff Writer

And on the saxophone, that's Kim Waters

When your mother sings gospel, your brother plays bass and your father listens to music round the clock, you realize early on your direction in life.

What jazz saxophonist Kim Waters didn't know, however, was by age 27 he would have toured the country, played with the Temptations and cut three albums.

"It's a great feeling to know when you're playing music you're making people happy. You get a natural high that way," says Mr. Waters, who lives in Aberdeen.

With a subtle contemporary style that crosses over from jazz to pop to rhythm and blues, he has attracted a loyal following and performed at the Baltimore Arena and the Pier Six Concert Pavilion.

On Thursday at 7 p.m., he will give a free performance at Hopkins Plaza as part of the La Provence Concert Series.

While he's drawn to all kinds of music, he finds jazz the most intriguing. "Just playing other music is repetitious. Jazz leaves a lot to the imagination," he says.

His fourth album, a tribute to the Platters, is due out next month. And this fall, he and his band plan to tour Japan, Germany and England.

While he relishes his success, Mr. Waters says being a musician, particularly a young one, isn't always easy.

He initially wanted to become a violinist. But when neighborhood friends teased him about playing a "girl's instrument," he switched to the saxophone.

Mr. Waters now has high musical hopes for his twin daughters.

"They're only 19 months," he says, "but if I sit them at a piano they'll bang on it a bit." Call him Cupid with a camera.

The name fits John Smith, a man who wanders around Fells Point, not slinging arrows but snapping photos of couples in love.

With his steady companion, a $50 Polaroid, he turns up at bars, charging sometimes $4, sometimes nothing, to capture the state of a couple's splendor.

"If a guy buys a girl a picture, that means a lot more than a drink," says Mr. Smith, 33, who lives in Charles Village.

The Fells Point Picture Guy, as he's called, became interested in the field two years ago after taking an expressive shot of Mikhail and Raisa Gorbachev in Washington, which he sold to a wire service.

Since his previous jobs -- teaching, pumping gas, playing a reindeer at Hutzler's -- had led nowhere, he decided to give photography a try.

He was attracted to the character of Fells Point, and couples seemed a natural subject. By working some 15 bars, from Bertha's to Moby's, he makes roughly $150 a weekend. (He fills in part-time at a day care center.)

And if he really likes a couple, he'll offer the man this advice: "I tell him to keep the picture. It means more to the woman that way. It makes her think the guy really cares."

Have someone to suggest? Write Mary Corey, Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278, or call (410) 332-6156.

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