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Charlie Watts on the Stones relationship with jazz (2001): “It does annoy me when people ignore jazz – Mick’ll say ‘We need a tenor player’ and I’ll say ‘Sonny Rollins’ – and he’s on our record next minute! And on the last tour we had Joshua Redman – we did a TV show with him – so in that I crusade a bit. I don’t mind dropping names – if someone asks me who’s a good drummer, I rarely mention rock drummers. I say ‘Kenny Clarke, Sonny Greer …’”
In a candid interview back in 2001, Charlie Watts, the legendary drummer of the Rolling Stones, shed light on the band’s unique relationship with jazz. Reflecting on their musical journey, Watts expressed his annoyance with a common misconception: that the Rolling Stones’ music can be solely attributed to rock and roll.
While the Rolling Stones are undoubtedly synonymous with rock music, their influences stretch far beyond the boundaries of the genre. Jazz, with its improvisational nature and expressive freedom, has played a significant role in shaping their distinct sound. The band’s embrace of jazz elements can be heard in their dynamic rhythms, refined harmonies, and subtle nuances that add depth to their compositions.