James Carter

In Carterian Fashion

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James Carter is the Arturo Sandoval of the reeds, a remarkable virtuoso who can seemingly do anything he wants on his horns. It is just a matter of passing time and accomplishments accumulating before Carter is thought of as one of the all-time greats. This particular CD, In Carterian Fashion, differs from his earlier ones in that Carter (who switches between tenor, soprano and baritone sax, and bass clarinet) is joined by one of three organists (Henry Butler, Cyrus Chestnut and his regular pianist Craig Taborn) instead of piano, which of course changes the sound of the ensembles. However, only a few of the songs come across as Jimmy Smith-style soul-jazz. Carter stretches from bluesy tunes to Don Byas' swinging mid-'40s romp "Don's Idea," to some avant-garde explorations, and a few strong hints at Rahsaan Roland Kirk (particularly on the soprano feature "Trouble in the World") and Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis. Trumpeter Dwight Adams sounds fine during his four appearances, particularly when trading off with Carter on "Don's Idea," and altoist Cassius Richmond (who is on three of the trumpet pieces) is also excellent. However, the dominant voice throughout is James Carter's, who in general is a little more restrained, which makes his fiery explosions and colorful tonal distortions really stand out. Recommended.

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