If there's such a thing as sweet cacophony, it's found on this fascinating and mega-trippy percussion exercise by the legendary Rolling Stones drummer and jazz aficionado Charlie Watts and his pal, veteran studio drummer Jim Keltner. If you don't know the concept of the disc beforehand, you're simply in for a bunch of rhythmic experimentations, oddball exotic atmospheres (from the Eastern vibe of "Kenny Clarke" to the hypnotic, sound-effects madness of "Tony Williams"), and funky, slamming drum solos in need of some good guitar licks. But as those titles would indicate, there is a method to their madness, and the idea is an avant-garde but somehow heartfelt tribute to jazz drumming royalty. The song titles, each named for a different legend (others include "Max Roach," "Airto," "Billy Higgins"), tell the story. And though Watts makes no attempt to imitate his heroes by aping their signature licks or trademark fills, he does his best to convey the very essence of their individuality and attitude behind the kit. As such, it's best enjoyed and appreciated by jazz drummers or fans of that art form.
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