Jazz albums are born in a number of different ways. Some arrive with birth pangs after a trial-and-error search for just the right notes and perfect deliverance. Some burst out in a sudden and explosive improvisational brilliance with unblemished first takes. Then, there are those discs that come to fruition in their own time-frame, steeping in years of work that ultimately fulfills the creative vision of the artist. Saxophonist Tim Ries's new CD and his debut for Concord Jazz, The Rolling Stones Project, fits squarely into the latter category-a sprawling tour schedule with the Stones and the logistics of putting together such an ambitious project the main culprits here. Without a doubt, it's been worth the wait. This 11-song collection not only celebrates the iconic pop band but also illustrates how ripe the group's songs are for jazz renderings. The CD features Ries breathing jazz life into the rock tunes. It also spotlights several guests who bring their support to the project. Included in the mix are vocalists Sheryl Crow, Lisa Fischer, Norah Jones, and Luciana Souza; jazz guitar icons Bill Frisell and John Scofield; keyboardist Larry Goldings; and Wayne Shorter's brilliant bass-drum team John Patitucci and Brian Blade . Most unexpectedly, the Project even features Rolling Stones members Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, and Ron Wood, who also contributed the album cover art. Sessions were recorded in New York, Los Angeles, and Munich, Germany. "I was shocked that this album came together the way it did," says Ries. "To get all these performers and to put a jazz touch on the Stones' songs, well, I've got to say that this project was a miracle."
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I HAVE to disagree....
John Holderried | Queens, NY United States | 04/18/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I've read all the glowing reviews for this CD, and honestly I don't get it. Admittedly I'm not the biggest fan of jazz, but I'm a huge fan of cover albums. Mostly Beatles covers, but I've also collected a lot of Stones, Pink Floyd and Zeppelin covers.
I've enjoyed CDs that put country or blues spins on the Rolling Stones - those seem to work - but soft jazz just didn't do it for me.
It's not for lack of trying - these songs would be right at home on the Easy Jazz radio station, and the high-powered guest talent like Norah Jones and Sheryl Crow certainly give their all, but seriously, what's the big deal?
Here's what it comes down to - this album made me realize how important LYRICS are to a Rolling Stones song. Strip away the words and play a song like "Satisfaction" or "Street Fighting Man" with just sax, drums and jazz guitar, and what have you got? Just a bunch of repetitive riffs, it seems like.
If the background singers weren't singing "Slipping Away" during track 3, I wouldn't have even been able to tell what song that was supposed to be.
One review said that Tim Ries was "breathing jazz life into the rock tunes". Umm, they were pretty lively already, dude. These covers sound much slower and more lethargic than the originals. "Sophisticated"? Try "Sedated"."
MADC | America Latina | 12/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ok...I love the Stones and their music ( almost all my life)...but I also love Jazz...and this "project" is amazing..!! It deserves 6 stars. I got it today and I've been listening to it all afternoon..!! The arrangements , the concept and the musicians are GREAT. What music ..man!!! Bernard, Lisa ( I love her..!!),Norah, John Scofield ( I am a great fan ),Patitucci ( I am also a fan of this guy) and the rest of the crew just did what they always do..great music...And it was a great experience to listen to these guys with Keith, Ron and Charlie in the same CD...
You do not need to be an all time fan of the Greatest R&R Band in the World like myself to love this CD..you just have to love music.
Mr. Ries ...take a bow...TWO THUMBS UP , for you."