Charlie Watts Quintet

Tribute to Charlie Parker with Strings

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Charlie Watts, a charter member of the Rolling Stones and an OK jazz drummer, financed a few jazz projects during the 1980s and '90s. This particular set -- a tribute to Charlie Parker that features a quintet, vocalist Bernard Fowler (who sings "Lover Man" and adds some narration about Parker's life), six strings, harp, and oboe -- has renditions of seven songs associated with Bird. Altoist Peter King is easily the solo star, trumpeter Gerard Presencer is decent but not on the same level, and pianist Brian Lemon also gets in some spots; Watts stays in the background. This well-intentioned program is well worth acquiring and its highlights include versions of "Just Friends," "Dewey Square," and "Perdido."

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