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Sax talk rocks

Rolling Stones saxophonist Tim Ries may work with an Indian vocalist.

music Updated: Feb 20, 2010 02:37 IST
Rajesh Ahuja

What do you ask somebody who’s jammed with the biggest rockstars the world has seen? The thought may perturb you but not when saxophonist Tim Ries is the man in question. For the crazy stage moments he’s shared with Mick Jagger and his Rolling Stones lads have only made him a notch humble. “Mick jumps around like a 20-year-old on stage. Charlie (Watts), Ronnie (Wood) and Keith (Richards) are fun, too. It’s awesome to see such high level of energy [they perform with] every night. It’s just amazing to have known them for 10 years. I know their wives, kids and extended family now,” he says.

But Ries is much more than his association with the metal act. He’s performed with greats such as Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Donald Fagen, Michael Jackson and Red Garland, and featured Norah Jones, Sheryl Crow and the contemporary likes on his OCs. “These artists bring in a high level of expertise to the table. And they feature you on their tours because you have a distinct sound. Every new musician I perform with adds a zing to my repertoire,” says Ries, who shared stage with sitarist Shujaat Khan and percussionist Karsh Kale at a concert in the Capital recently.

His last album titled Stones World/The Rolling Stones Project II got favourable reviews. But that was in 2008. Ries, now, is awaiting the release an album that features his daughter, Jasia. “There’re a few compositions she’s played violin on and my wife’s played the harp on. I wish to put them all on an album soon,” he says.

Having visited India twice before with the Stones, Ries is no alien to the music scene here. He’s performed with Indian flautists and tabla players, and is now considering collaborating with a desi vocalist. “Actually Shujaat doesn’t sound bad; I may feature him,” he says with a chuckle.