This stupendous two-CD, 13-track release by tenor/soprano saxophonist Tim Ries an extraordinary jazz musician and member of the Rolling Stones touring band since 1999 translates the Stones immortal songbook into ingenious and uncharted jazz-influenced, world music territories, with Stones members Mick Jagger, Ron Wood, Keith Richards and Charlie Watts, along with salsa/Latin pianist Eddie Palmieri, jazz drum giant Jack DeJohnette, the Portuguese fado singer Ana Moura, vocalists Bernard Fowler and Lisa Fischer, and the Brazilian superstar, Milton Nascimento.
A well-rounded artist who has worked with everybody from Sheryl Crow and Steely Dan to Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon, Ries has released four critically acclaimed jazz records as a leader. This effort is Ries s long-anticipated follow-up to his 2005 Concord release, The Rolling Stones Project, which offered a more jazzed take on the Stones music, and featured Norah Jones. But while the jazz influence is evident on this project, the vibe reflects a more global-centric take, born from Ries s world tours with the band.
My goal became clear: to record with local musicians, in the style particular to the region, in each of the various countries where the world tour took us... Ries writes in the liner notes. I set the music in the various world music styles, but the arrangements were only a guide for the exceptional musicians involved in each situation.
Ries sinewy and soaring sax lines and Wide World arrangements swing and sing in a marvelous multitude of tones and tongues, supported by vocalists Bernard Fowler, Lisa Fischer, organist Larry Goldings, drummers Clarence Penn and Gregory Hutchinson, bassist John Patitucci and guitarist Ben Monder. Save for the leader s lone original track, the Crusaders-colored A Funky Number, with the incredible Japanese trumpeter Terumasa Hino, the rest of the selections are all Stones classics: Baby Break It Down, is a Tokyo-toned take with vocalist Minako Yoshida. Miss You and Fool to Cry, are Parisian-pulsed waltz and accordion-featured tracks driven by Watts sensitive drumming and French pianist Franck Amsallem, contrasted by Jack DeJohnette s New York-nuanced drums and Bill Frisell s twangy guitar lines on You Can t Always Get What You Want. Brown Sugar, and No Expectations are rendered as passionate Portuguese fado songs sung by fadista Ana Moura, matched by the gospelized/flamenco fury of Jumpin Jack Flash with dancer Sara Baras, while the Iberian impressionism takes on a Puerto Rican salsa sizzle on Under My Thumb, powered by Eddie Palmieri s propulsive piano solo, matched by Milton Nascimento s passionate Afro-Brazilian look at Lady Jane. On the other side of the globe, Indian tabla master Badal Roy provides the sub-continental syncopations on the fusion-friendly Angie. The North African, blues-Berber beat on Hey Negrita, with the Tuareg band Tidwat, is laced with Mick Jagger s down-home harmonica and Ronnie Wood s smoking guitar solos. Salt of the Earth is an all-embracing selection that draws from America, Asia, and Africa, with Ries daughter Jasia on vocals and rapper, Fe.
All of Tim Ries powers are evident in this amazing recording; a well-traveled CD that rocks and rolls with global grooves. Every major religion, race, and ideology is represented on these tracks, Ries writes in the liner notes. ... Like children, we instinctively go to that natural place when boundaries are obscured by the magic of the moment.