October 2005

Tim Ries
The Rolling Stones Project
Concord Records

Jazz-radio programmers are going to love this one: "This'll bring listeners to the station-jazz interpretations of Rolling Stones songs! By a saxophonist who toured with the Stones! With Bill Frisell and Norah Jones! And Sheryl Crow! And Ries even got a couple of the Stones to play on it!"

Ries had some good ideas: The organ-trio version of "Honky Tonk Women," with Stones drummer Charlie Watts and organist Larry Goldings, puts a raunchy swing on the tune, and "Satisfaction" borrows from Lee Morgan's "The Sidewinder" to swing harder than you might expect, despite the vapid backup vocals. But the CD's better moments have little or no connection to the compositions. The arrangement of "Paint It Black" sounds "lite" until Ben Monder unleashes a nasty guitar solo. Norah Jones trades in the heartbreak of "Wild Horses" for a slick, confident, too-cool delivery. Watts and Keith Richards don't add more than their names to "Waiting on a Friend" wherein the solos happen over a two-chord vamp, ignoring the blowing potential of the theme's chord change.

Originally published in October 2005
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