In the 1960s, The Rolling Stones led the way in forging a rougher, rootsier style of rock out of R&B, '50s rock 'n' roll and Chicago blues. As the band's drummer, Charlie Watts helped set a new standard of rhythmic structure for rock, and his tight, anchoring beat was widely imitated. After that, what's left to do? Jazz, apparently.

Watts is no stranger to jazz. He's made two recordings of Charlie Parker tunes and a tribute to jazz drummers. In between tours with his "other group," Watts drums with Tentet, a jazz band of players from the United Kingdom. Comprising three saxes, two trumpets, trombone, vibraphone, piano, bass, percussion, and, of course, Watts on drums, the Charlie Watts Tentet is large enough to swing like a big band on standards such as "Take the A Train," but small enough to drive at fast be-bop speeds on Charlie Parker/Dizzy Gillespie tunes such as "Tin Tin Deo."

Playing live at the Blue Note on Tuesday night, the band sounded relaxed, confident and very polished. They stayed within a traditional sound made of soft moods and variegated textures. While the crisply written charts left plenty of room for soloing, the half-expected explosions of rocklike energy from the band never happened. But that hardly mattered. Tentet is not a jazz-rock amalgam, but a straight jazz unit, and the crowd went wild just the same.