Charlie Watts Jim Keltner Project: Charlie Watts Jim Keltner Project


Sign in to view read count
Charlie Watts Jim Keltner Project: Charlie Watts Jim Keltner Project Jim Keltner apparently gets off on sampling every percussive sound he comes across – kitchen utensils, rattling chains, banging on a table, etc. I know this because I’ve just finished listening to the Charlie Watts Jim Keltner Project, and I think I’ve heard every possible banging sound that this planet has to offer. When super-session man Keltner hooked up with the Rolling Stone’s Cheshire Cat Charlie Watts, their apparent goal was to make an engaging and eclectic percussive jazz album – one that would be centered on drums, but also include other elements such as African and Indian stylings. Did they succeed in this goal? Well, while Project is certainly eclectic, it is by no means engaging. As a matter of fact, other than a few brief moments, it’s a mess.

The CD starts out on a high note with the track “Shelly Manne” (did I mention that all the tracks are named after famous drummers?). Watts lays out a real good groove, while Keltner uses some tasteful sequences and percussion to fill out the piece. Clocking in at just under 3 minutes, the song is over before it has a chance to get tedious. This is unfortunately not the case with the rest of the CD. The next tune titled “Art Blakely” starts off with a cool jungle vibe (I expected the Zulus to come rushing out of my speakers) that initially sounds promising but soon turns repetitive and boring as after a minute you realize that you’re just going to listen to the same few measures over and over and over. This reminded more of house music (like they play at fashion shows) than jazz. On the excruciatingly long “Tony Williams” (12 minutes), there is an interesting use of a synthesized voice that stops being interesting after about 2 minutes. The remaining 10 minutes will have you subjected to some of the most obnoxious cymbal work I’ve ever heard, courtesy of Mr. Watts. With a few exceptions, the rest of the album pretty much consists of surprisingly pedestrian drumming from Watts coupled with totally inappropriate samples from Keltner. Very disappointing.

Was there anything positive about Project ? Well sort of... the 12 minute “Elvin Suite” has a really nice smooth jazz flavor to it – that is until the African choir comes in and totally destroys any ambience the song was trying to build. “Roy Haynes” has Watts busting a KILLER drum pocket, only to have Keltner’s obnoxious samples ruin the groove. As a matter of fact, the best part of this CD happens despite Watts and Keltner and not because of them; in the middle of another boring track called “Max Roach”, piano man Emmanuel Sourdeix and string bassist Remy Vignolo break in and play an absolutely fantastic two minutes of traditional jazz that leaves you wondering why these musicians aren’t featured more prominently on the album.

However, other than an interesting first track and two minutes worth of flying piano and bass, Project is an utter disappointment. I’m sure that Watts and Keltner are very capable musicians who could come up with something very interesting together, but this ain’t it.

- Michael Askounes (michael@gscyclone.com)

Track Listing:

1. Shelly Manne (2:55) 2. Art Blakey (5:22) 3. Kenny Clarke (3:25) 4. Tony Williams (11:45) 5. Roy Haynes (4:10) 6. Max Roach (4:07) 7. Airto (6:23) 8. Billy Higgins (4:38) 9. Elvin Suite (12:23)


Charlie Watts: Drums Jim Keltner: Sequenced sounds, percussion,

Title: Charlie Watts Jim Keltner Project | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Cyber Octave


comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Roll On CD/LP/Track Review Roll On
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 25, 2017
Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 25, 2017
Read Pandora's Bag CD/LP/Track Review Pandora's Bag
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 25, 2017
Read Float The Edge CD/LP/Track Review Float The Edge
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 25, 2017
Read The Attic CD/LP/Track Review The Attic
by John Sharpe
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Outside The Comfort Zone CD/LP/Track Review Outside The Comfort Zone
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 24, 2017
Read "Cactus" CD/LP/Track Review Cactus
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 26, 2016
Read "The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door" CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "It's A Mystery" CD/LP/Track Review It's A Mystery
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 31, 2017
Read "Nightfall" CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017
Read "Blue And Lonesome" CD/LP/Track Review Blue And Lonesome
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 9, 2016
Read "Electric Ascension" CD/LP/Track Review Electric Ascension
by John Sharpe
Published: October 5, 2016

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.