Tim Ries

Record review

Phases & Stages

Tim Ries

The Rolling Stones Project (Concord)

Saxman and arranger Tim Ries, currently on tour with the Stones, conceived this jazz tribute to the "World's Greatest Rock Band." Besides corralling Keith, Charlie (a jazzbo at heart), Ronnie, and bassman Darryl Jones into guest slots, he's also brought along some jazz heavyweights in guitarists John Scofield and Bill Frisell, pianist Bill Charlap, and drummer Brian Blade, to name a few. Sadly, what looks promising on paper yields mixed results. For these types of tributes to work, one has to be creative in rearranging the original material. Neither "Wild Horses," a showcase for Nora Jones; "Waiting on a Friend," with some nice work from Frisell; nor "Gimme Shelter," a meandering disaster, add anything to the original versions. The tunes that work best change the equation. The backbeat funk of "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," the organ trio groove on "Honky Tonk Women," the Brazilian percussion layered atop "Street Fighting Man," and the brooding, shifting, expansive excursion on "Paint It Black," all successfully pursue a different route. A more assertive voice on saxophone rather than the frequently flaccid smooth jazz vocabulary articulated here would have helped. Ries should be credited with an inspired idea, albeit one in which I can't get no satisfaction.


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