Charlie Watts: Relaxin' at Camarillo


Relaxin' at Camarillo


Charlie Watts (drums)


From One Charlie (Continuum 19104-2)

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Charlie Watts (drums), Peter King (alto sax, leader),

Gerard Presencer (trumpet), Brian Lemon (piano), David Green (bass)


Composed by Charlie Parker


Recorded: Watford, England, February 1991


Rating: 85/100 (learn more)

As kids, Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts and his friend David Green longed to play with jazz great Charlie Parker. This notion preoccupied their days and nights. What fun that would be! As he grew up, Watts continued to revere Parker. In 1964, he published Ode to A High Flying Bird, a slim, greeting-card style fable in which childlike watercolor drawings and hand-lettered captions depict a potato-shaped bird named Charlie whose life tragically parallels Parker's. So, 27 years later, why not reaffirm Watts's devotion to Parker's music? The drummer reunited with boyhood friend Green, hired a saxophonist-leader and recorded From One Charlie. The CD was then marketed with a new printing of the book at an exorbitant price. Fortunately, the CD (with one of Watts's original 1964 drawings on its cover) also became available as an affordable single unit.

"Relaxin' at Camarillo" (mistitled "Relaxing at Camarillo" on the CD) is a relaxed bebop number that has Watts using his brushes. Lemon plays a lightly swinging piano. Green offers a short standard bass solo. King and Presencer do their best Bird and Gillespie. This is a pleasing interpretation you'd be happy to hear in any nightclub. No one is trying to capture the brilliance of Charlie Parker. The lack of pretense and a desire to do something just for the fun of it are what make this work.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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