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Meets The Danish Radio Big Band

Impulse! 0602557441932





  1. Elvin Suite Part 1

  2. Elvin Suite Part 2

  3. Faction

  4. I Should Care

  5. You Can't Always Get What You Want

  6. Paint It Black

  7. Molasses

    Nicolai Schultz - Alto sax, flute

    Pernille Bévort - Alto sax, soprano sax

    Uffe Markussen, Lars Møller - Tenor sax

    Anders Gustafsson - Trumpet

    Gerard Presencer - Flugelhorn

    Vincent Nilsson, Peter Jensen, Steen Nikolaj Hansen - Trombone

    Per Gade - Guitar

    Steen Rasmussen - Piano, Rhodes

    Dave Green, Kaspar Vadsholt - Bass

    Charlie Watts, Søren Frost - Drums

    Charlie Watts is undoubtedly best known as the drummer for the Rolling Stones. Less recognised perhaps is his commitment to jazz and his quality as a leader and performer in that sphere. Since the 1980s, he has led at various times a big band, a quintet and a tentet, all to critical acclaim. For this album, he teams up with one of Europe's finest big bands, The Danish Radio Big Band, which Brit Gerard Presencer joined in 2009. Presencer not only plays flugelhorn here but provides the arrangements. Also guesting on the recording is bassist Dave Green who was a boyhood friend of Watts, indeed a next door neighbour in their youth. With this calibre of performer, expectations are high. The listener will not be disappointed since there is a consistent level of excellence pretty well throughout. There are three Rolling Stones classics from the pen of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, a quality standard inI Should Care, as well as a Joe Newman tune and a two part Elvin Suite, dedicated to the late, great, jazz drummer, Elvin Jones. The latter was a consequence of Watts' collaboration with American drummer and percussionist Jim Keltner some years ago, known as the Charlie Watts/Jim Keltner Project. On the resulting album, tribute was paid to a galaxy of drummers, of which Elvin Jones was one.

    There is an impressive ensemble sound from the band on Elvin Suite Part 1. David Green is typically agile on bass while Peter Jensen makes his mark on trombone. The interaction between musicians is noticeably fluent and exciting. There is a segue into Elvin Suite Part 2, itself briefer than the opening piece and featuring a robust tenor solo by Uffe Markussen. Needless to say, Charlie Watts and Søren Frost are right on their game on drums. There is an enthusiastic response from the audience. Faction is, in fact, Satisfaction. Gerard Presencer makes a flowing, intricate and swinging contribution on flugelhorn. Lars Møller, meanwhile, is very much in the groove on tenor. The whole theme is driven along by Green, Watts and company. That lovely standard, I Should Care, has Presencer again on superlative form in this appealing treatment of the ballad. The stylish Nikolaj Hansen on trombone is a further bonus. The heyday of the big band is evoked by soloists and orchestra alike. Wonderful stuff. You Can't Always Get What You Want offers energetic improvisation from Presencer and oblique and inventive soprano sax from Pernille Bévort with the band riffing behind the soloists. Paint It Black allows that thoughtful and melodic guitarist Per Gade scope to demonstrate his range while Presencer is at his intuitive best. Charlie Watts, as elsewhere, maintains a high standard. This is a team effort, however, the band fully playing their part. The final track, Molasses, comes from a Woody Herman chart and is a genuine swinger. Nicolai Schultz on alto solos, as does the rousing Vincent Nilsson on trombone. David Green is also to the fore.

    This album is an unalloyed pleasure, full of memorable moments. I thought the Stones' tunes lent themselves very well to jazz exploration and were in no way out of place in this setting. Charlie Watts is to be congratulated on another successful venture, as are the soloists and Danish Radio Big Band. Well done, everyone!

    James Poore



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