Project (Big band & guests including Bill Charlap, Sheryl Crow,
Bill Frisell, Larry Goldings, Norah Jones, John Patitucci, Keith
Richards, Charlie Watts, Ronnie Wood, John Scofield & others)
Concord Records CCD-2260-2 ****:
Well-known jazz sideman Ries was invited in 1999 to join The Rolling
Stones on one of their tours, and he’s been with them ever since. He
soon realized how great the songs of the Stones were for jazz
rendering, though they hadn’t previously received the attention that
the Beatles’ songs have had from the jazz world. He started by
including his arrangement of the Stone’s Moonlight Mile on one of his
own albums on the Criss Cross label out of Holland. It worked well as
an instrumental vehicle for jazz and got him thinking about doing an
entire album of the same.
Ries brought together a quartet with pianist Bill Charlap and recorded
three Stones tunes as a demo. He then give a copy of it to the
Stones, seeking their blessing. They loved it. Keith Richards observed
that they were pressured to make the songs as short as possible for the
singles market, and he liked the way Tim was able to stretch out the
melodies and play with different chords and harmonies, making the tunes
more like fully finished things. That’s a good summary of this
collection of 11 tracks.
Norah Jones sings on Wild Horses (done in a single take) and Sheryl
Crow is heard on one of two versions of Honky Tonk Woman. Highly
original guitarist Bill Frisell joined Ries and Charlie Watts on
Waiting for a Friend and an original by Ries – Belleli, and Frisell is
also heard on Ruby Tuesday. The opening track of the album gets
things in a real solid groove on I Can’t Get No Satisfaction, with an
arrangement that echoes Lee Morgan’s big hit Sidewinder. I was
completely sold on the project a few bars into that swinging number.
Ries is a terrific arranger and not bad on his ax either. He was
shocked that the album came together the way it did, with so many
artists involved. Anyone into great ensemble jazz – whether or
not a Stones fan – will dig this disc the most!
Tracks: I Can’t Get No Satisfaction, Honky Tonk Women (organ
trio), Slippin’ Away, Street Fighting Man, Wild Horses, Waiting on a
Friend, Paint It Black, Honky Tonk Women (Keith’s version), Ruby
Tuesday, Gimme Shelter, Belleli.
– John Henry