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Vocal Jazz - Released June 7, 2019 | Blue Note Records

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Even the Guinness Book of Records says so: Ron Carter has been involved in the production of over 2,200 albums! At 82 years old, the double bass player extraordinaire still has things left to say. And he does so here, with this live album co-written with Danny Simmons. Not very well known in Europe, Simmons is none other than the older brother of Joseph Simmons (Run in Run-DMC) and Russell Simmons (producer and co-founder of label Def Jam). A painter, galley-owner, poet and novelist, he is also the co-founder of Def Poetry Jam, an event dedicated to slammers, poets and all other wordsmiths. For this Brown Beatnik Tomes − Live at BRIC House, he had a very precise idea: “I was trying to imagine myself as a Beat Generation poet in the '50s, and how my concerns would be a bit different from Lawrence Ferlinghetti's or Allen Ginsberg's. In a way, the beatniks romanticized black people. They were hip, but they didn't really see the plight. That scene largely was about the Negro experience but didn't have the Negro in it.”Ron Carter, who was in his twenties at the time of Kerouac’s Beat Generation, is on the same wavelength: “I was not participating in the Beat movement. Those were white guys saying what they were saying. I was playing with people like [folk singer] Leon Bibb. A similar thing was happening in the black community, and my music was trying to support that.” Here, their back-and-forth, composed with pianist Donald Vega and guitarist Russell Malone (along with playwright, actress and activist Liza Jessie Peterson on Where Do I Begin), combines spontaneity and themes that are rooted in history; a way to highlight the timelessness of its subject matters. Of course, English-speakers will get the most out of this literate and engaging album. A record that draws its might from Ron Carter’s double bass, which perfectly complements Danny Simmons’ lyrics and heighten their power. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released February 24, 2017 | IN+OUT Records

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Jazz - Released April 28, 2017 | IN+OUT Records

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Jazz - Released July 27, 2011 | Blue Note Records

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Jazz - Released July 19, 2006 | Blue Note Records

Although he has participated in a couple of Miles Davis tribute bands and Herbie Hancock's V.S.O.P., Ron Carter always resisted leading a CD of Davis tunes, until this project. Actually only seven of the ten songs that are performed by Carter's quartet on Dear Miles were associated with the trumpeter (not the two Carter originals or "As Time Goes By"), and "Bags' Groove" is a bit borderline. In any case, there are no trumpeters emulating Miles and these versions rarely hint at Davis' versions. This project simply served as a good excuse to play a variety of superior songs. Carter has plenty of solo space and sometimes takes the melodic lead. Pianist Stephen Scott gets his solos and occasionally throws in unexpected and offbeat song quotes. Drummer Payton Crossley and percussionist Roger Squitero are very much in the background. Dear Miles is a cheerful and upbeat session, most highly recommended to listeners who enjoy hearing a lot of bass solos. ~ Scott Yanow
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Jazz - Released April 21, 2015 | Original Jazz Classics

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Jazz - Released January 21, 2011 | Masterworks Jazz

One of bassist Ron Carter's better albums as a leader, this CTI LP features a very compact quartet comprised of tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson, pianist Roland Hanna (keyboardist Richard Tee sits in on one number), drummer Billy Cobham and Carter. All of the music (even the ballad "Will You Still Be Mine?") has a blues feeling although several are not really blues. However, the quality of the solos is high, and this date lives up to one's expectations. ~ Scott Yanow
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Jazz - Released June 10, 2014 | Concord Records, Inc.

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Jazz - Released July 16, 2008 | EMI Music Japan Inc.

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Jazz - Released August 24, 2011 | Blue Note Catalogue

Stardust is another satisfying record from Ron Carter, this one in part a tribute to the late Oscar Pettiford. Leading a quintet with Benny Golson on tenor, Joe Locke on vibes, Sir Roland Hanna on piano, and Lenny White on drums, Carter picks three choice tunes by Pettiford -- the swing-to-tango "Tamalpais," the minor-key bop classic "Bohemia After Dark," and the masterfully simple "Blues in the Closet." Carter's originals, also numbering three, include the slow 14-bar blues "Nearly," the mid-tempo swinger "Tail Feathers," and "That's Deep," which is Carter's answer to the question, "How Deep Is the Ocean?" Locke sits out on a fairly upbeat rendition of "The Man I Love"; Carter and Hanna close with a duet on "Stardust," with Carter taking the melody. Golson and Hanna are in particularly good form, their richly seasoned sounds meshing well with the élan of the younger Locke. ~ David R. Adler
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Jazz - Released September 13, 2011 | Sunnyside

Ron Carter is one of the most recorded bassists in jazz. In his mid-seventies at the time of these sessions, he is very much still at the top of his game as he leads the first big-band date of his own, with potent arrangements by conductor Robert M. Freedman and including some of New York's busiest musicians, including Jerry Dodgion, Steve Wilson, Wayne Escoffery, and Scott Robinson in the woodwind section, brass players Steve Davis, Douglas Purviance, and Greg Gisbert, plus pianist Mulgrew Miller and drummer Lewis Nash, among others. Freedman's charts are short and sweet, all of them under five minutes, with much of the focus on imaginative writing and Carter's melodic bass central in the mix. The material spans from the 1920s to the present, played with imagination. The opening "Caravan" is taken far from its roots, transformed into a breezy bop vehicle, even slipping in a dissonant snippet of "Hot House." The setting of Dizzy Gillespie's "Con Alma" retains its Latin flavor, with a lush introduction by the brass and reeds and strong solos by Miller and Carter. Carter's inventive bass provides the undercurrent for the brisk interpretation of Wayne Shorter's marvelous jazz standard "Footprints," while the upbeat performance of Gerry Mulligan's "Line for Lyons" would have pleased its composer. Carter has long been a prolific composer, and his "Loose Change" is a funky affair with marvelous interplay among the brass and reeds, while "Opus 1.5 (Theme for C.B.)" is mellow and somber, with Charles Pillow's mellow English horn prominent and an intricate solo by Carter. With this delightful big-band date, the veteran bassist continues to surprise and delight listeners during a career spanning five-plus decades. ~ Ken Dryden
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Bebop - Released December 1, 2008 | Rhino - Elektra

Sophisticated, elegant quartet date from 1982, with Art Farmer's serene trumpet and flugelhorn playing setting the tone, backed by tenor and soprano saxophonist Bill Evans, who's more restrained than usual. Carter's bass and Tony Williams' drums are both understated and definitive in their support and backing rhythms. ~ Ron Wynn
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1983 | Fantasy Records

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Bebop - Released May 23, 2007 | Rhino Atlantic

Ron Carter's Uptown Conversation may very well be the most intriguing, challenging, and resonant statement of many he has made over the years as a leader. As a prelude to his funkier electric efforts for CTI and the wonderful dates for Milestone Records, where he emphasized the piccolo bass, these selections showcase Carter with unlikely partners in early creative improvised settings, a hint of R&B, and some of the hard-charging straight-ahead music that he is most well known for. Flute master Hubert Laws takes a prominent role on several tracks, including the title cut with its funky but not outdated style, where he works in tandem with Carter's basslines. On "R.J.," the short hard bop phrasings of Laws and Carter are peppy and brisk, but not clipped. The first rendering of "Little Waltz," apart from the Miles Davis repertoire to which Carter contributed, is more pensive and delicate, with Laws at the helm rather than Davis' trumpet. Carter's trio recordings with pianist Herbie Hancock and drummer Billy Cobham are cast in a different light, as the lengthy "Half a Row" (referring to six of a 12-tone row) is at once free, spacy, loose, and very atypical for these soon-to-be fusion pioneers. The three stay in a similar dynamic range during "Einbahnstrasse," but move to some hard bop changes informed by the brilliant chordal vamping and extrapolating of Hancock, while "Doom" is another 3/4 waltz with chiming piano offsetting Carter's skittering bass. There's also a free-and-easy duet with guitarist Sam Brown. Considering the music Ron Carter played preceding and following this effort, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more diverse, intellectually stimulating, enlivened, and especially unrestricted musical statement in his long and enduring career. ~ Michael G. Nastos
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2001 | Fantasy Records

Ever since Charlie "Bird" Parker recorded his first Charlie Parker With Strings sessions in 1949 and 1950, jazz artists have hoped to enjoy the backing of lush string orchestras. But most will never get the chance because of the expense; it's a lot easier to pay four or five musicians than 15, 20, or 25. Ron Carter, however, did fulfill that dream in the late '70s and early '80s -- first on 1978's Pick 'Em, then on 1981's Super Strings. In 2001, Fantasy reissued those Milestone dates back to back on this 78-minute CD. Typically, a jazz-with-strings project will emphasize overdone standards, but Carter's own material dominates this CD; the only tunes that he didn't write are Gordon Parks' "Don't Misunderstand" and Miles Davis' "All Blues." Carter's composing is solid throughout, and the material he provides ranges from introspective ballads ("Tranquil," "Opus 2") to a funky, gospel-minded offering ("Uptown Conversation") and a melodic, Brazilian-flavored piece ("Bom Dia"). Meanwhile, "Eight" is a modal number that is obviously based on John Coltrane's "Impressions" and Miles Davis' "So What." Parts of the CD swing hard, and parts are unapologetically lush -- nonetheless, Carter maintains his integrity and avoids getting into elevator muzak. The bassist obviously realizes that lush doesn't have to mean muzak. Although not among Carter's essential CDs, Pick 'Em/Super Strings is an enjoyable disc that will appeal to those who have a taste for lavish orchestral jazz. ~ Alex Henderson
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Jazz - Released April 21, 2015 | Original Jazz Classics

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Jazz - Released September 11, 1997 | Blue Note Records

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For this quartet set, veteran bassist Ron Carter is joined by pianist Stephen Scott, drummer Lewis Nash, and percussionist Steve Kroon. As is usual on Carter's records, he is the main soloist on many of the songs though Scott also has plenty of good spots. Recorded originally for the Japanese market, this set features the quartet jamming on four standards and three melodic Carter pieces, with all of the musicians playing quite well. Highlights include "You and the Night and the Music," "Blues for D.P.," and "Mr. Bow-Tie." ~ Scott Yanow
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1981 | Fantasy Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1978 | Fantasy Records

A 1991 reissue of a decent, though over-arranged, 1977 session. ~ Ron Wynn
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1979 | Fantasy Records

Bassist Carter heads a sterling mid-sized band with three trumpeters and saxophonists and two trombones. He handles the job of being both the primary and secondary rhythm support, while guests Joe Henderson, Jon Faddis, and Frank Wess, among others, provide some standout solos. The ensemble interaction clicks as well. ~ Ron Wynn