The ABC&D Of Boogie Woogie
Live In Paris
The great double piano stride racing of "Bonsoir Boogie" opens The ABC&D of Boogie Woogie - Live In Paris CD, featuring Axel Zwingenberger, Ben Waters, Charlie Watts (yeah that Chatlie Watts) and Dave Green live at the Duc Des Lombards Club in Paris. Cousin Joe Pleasant's "Evolution Blues" follows, Watt's brush work and the upright bass playing of Green (his solo is pretty sweet here too) provide a nice backing to Waters' fantastic tinkling ivories and vocals; the trio cooks on the ever popular "(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66" and the truly rolling "Roll 'Em Pete,", where Watts manages some cool tom hits as well as his always-in-the-pocket rim snaps.
We get a spate of originals tunes next as pianist Axel Zwingenberger takes over for Waters - the aptly named "Duc De Woogie Boogie" is a breezy instrumental piece, "Street Market Drag" drags nice and easy, Watts pops his toms and slinks his ever present high-hat on the strutting "Struttin' At Sebastopol" and really comes alive on the chugging "More Sympathy For The Drummer," taking about as much as of a solo as you can hope from this most quiet of Rolling Stones, with only some pronounced tom hits and cymbal rolls during staccato breaks.
The four guys take the stage for the last five tunes, so we basically get the full complement of two pianos dominating tunes like "Down The Road a Piece," the mean torchy-ness of W. C. Handy's "St. Louis Blues," and the last tune here titled "Encore Stomp," another boogie woogie number where things gets slightly loose with all the two pianos trying to out-speed one another.
There is great easy jazz playing across all 11 songs on The ABC&D of Boogie Woogie - Live In Paris. Even though we have all heard the Rolling Stones will be trotting out some live dates for this their 50th anniversary year, dare I say it, Charlie Watts (and the musicians with him in Paris) really seems like he is in his element here.
~ Ralph Greco, Jr.