Oliver Weindling writes:
Charlie Watts was a jazz drummer at heart. Apparently, he only started as a drummer with R&B band The Rolling Stones to fill in only until something better came along (according to Dick Heckstall-Smith)! His love of jazz went back to his time at primary school with Dave Green. Of course his big band included many of our regular players, such as Annie Whitehead, Harry Beckett, Evan Parker, Peter King, Gerard Presencer and more.
Which was part of our initial connection with him. As well as that Dave Mossman knew him through his horse breeding.
He certainly gave a lot back to jazz and improvising musicians. He indeed funded some of the early albums by The People Band, which has played frequently at the Vortex. A pretty hard core group. So it shows how deep his knowledge and support was for this music, way beyond just the influence that it had on his own playing.
So, while not an ‘active’ patron, to know that we had such a man around has kept us on our toes.