Charlie Watts Jazz Anthology Arrives

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Charlie Watts (Photo: Anton Corbijn; used with permission)

The first extensive anthology drawn from the bespoke jazz catalog of one of the world’s most loved and admired drummers, the legendary Charlie Watts, was released on June 30, 2023, by BMG. Available both in 2-LP and 2-CD editions, Anthology, notes the announcement, is a monument to the “other” musical identity of the giant who underpinned the Rolling Stones for more than 55 years. It draws on a near 20-year period in his substantial catalog of jazz recordings in various configurations, including quartet, quintet, tentet, and orchestra. The collection includes several previously unreleased tracks from 1978. Listen to many of them below.

More from the May 10 announcement: Anthology is a celebration of the faultlessly tasteful and inventive playing of a true inspiration to millions, who generously diverted the spotlight onto his brilliant, hand-picked collaborators. Across Anthology, these include such greats as his lifelong friend and double bass stalwart Dave Green, saxophonists such as Peter King, Evan Parker and Courtney Pine, trumpeter Gerard Presencer, fellow drum titan Jim Keltner and vocalist and Rolling Stones live band member Bernard Fowler.

The retrospective begins with material from 1986, when Watts had his own name on an album for the first time – with typical modesty, some 25 years after his drumming first became the talk of his peers – on Live At Fulham Town Hall. It then features selections from the Charlie Watts Quintet’s 1991 mini-album From One Charlie, their albums A Tribute to Charlie Parker with Strings (1992), Warm and Tender (1993) and Long Ago and Far Away (1996), the 2000 collaboration Charlie Watts – Jim Keltner Project and another live set, 2004’s Watts at Scott’s, recorded in 2001 as the Charlie Watts Tentet.

The expanded CD track listing is augmented by the inclusion of three sought-after tracks from a performance by Watts and his group at Swindon Arts Centre in 1978, featuring versions of “Rockhouse Boogie,” “Ain’t Nobody Minding Your Store,” and “Swindon Swing.”

Anthology features liner notes by music journalist and broadcaster Paul Sexton, the author of 2022’s Charlie’s Good Tonight: The Authorized Biography of Charlie Watts, published by HarperCollins.

The tracklisting appears below the Amazon links.

Charlie Watts’ Anthology Tracklisting
CD 1
Stompin’ At The Savoy
Flying Home
Practising, Practising, Just Great
Relaxing At Camarillo
Black Bird – White Chicks
Cool Blues
You Go To My Head
If I Should Lose You
My Ship
Long Ago (And Far Away)
Good Morning Heartache
Never Let Me Go

CD 2
Roy Haynes
Roll ‘Em Charlie
What’s New
Tin Tin Deo
Sunset and The Mockingbird
Take the “A” Train
Rockhouse Boogie (Previously Unreleased)
Ain’t Nobody Minding Your Store (Previously Unreleased)
Swindon Swing (Previously Unreleased)

Related: Watts’ final concert with the Rolling Stones

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  1. JCB
    #1 JCB 1 July, 2023, 09:58

    I love Charlie’s solo albums. His “Warm + Tender” album is a true classic. A great record which I listen to often. His beautiful daughter is on the cover, what a knockout.

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