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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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Pop/Rock - Released August 18, 2003 | Epic

In 1968, having completed a five-year stint with Miles Davis, Ron Carter's career was wide open. Finding himself in typically high demand, the bassist decided not to make any long-term commitments (though he continued to join individual recording dates), opting instead to develop his solo career. In 1971, he released Uptown Conversation (Atlantic). Shortly after, he signed to the CTI label, releasing Blues Farm in 1973. The bass is rarely found in such a prominent role, its melodic qualities typically being subordinate to rhythmic ones. The presence of a pianist, guitarist, and two percussionists on Blues Farm frees Carter to explore both realms. Working with Davis was obviously a valuable experience. On numbers like "Footprints" (from Miles Smiles, 1965), Carter was required to extend and compress time, a technique that is second nature to him on Blues Farm. Dense, dexterous runs are broken up by long, bending lines and shades of blues phrasing, all executed with absolute grace. His playing becomes slightly imposing on "Django." While it's great to hear him lead the group on a tour through the song's shifting rhythms, the accompanists aren't allowed much space. Carter's playing is best when more deeply integrated. On the title track, he engages in a wonderful exchange with flutist Hubert Laws, with the two swapping solos back and forth. On "Hymn for Him," his probing lines enrich the song, pushing its narrative forward. The best comes last as the group rides "R2, M1" to the album's conclusion. The song subsists largely on the group's energy (the most they display outwardly on the album) and Carter's deep, repetitious groove. Unfortunately, great musicianship does not always make for compelling results. Blues Farm's excursions are enjoyable, but somewhat reserved. Both the compositions and performances avoid strong emotions in favor of pleasing palettes of color and texture. The early-'70s production values only enhance this by softening the bed of musical tones. The resulting polish tranquilizes the sound and ultimately dates the album. ~ Nathan Bush
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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 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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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 April 21, 2015 | Original Jazz Classics

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1978 | Fantasy Records

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Jazz - Released June 7, 2019 | Blue Note Records

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2008 | Concord Records, Inc.