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Live Reviews

Detroit International Jazz Festival 2008

By Published: September 16, 2008
Pianist Gerard Gibbs and drummer Leonard King have been with Carter for several years now, and both have displayed their love for the dissonant, out-there approach. Gibbs, especially, wore his love of the avant-garde on his late evening sun-drenched sleeves. Up and down the keyboard he went, pounding out block chords that seemed to pile on one another like dominoes. He kicked up from his bench during one solo to increase his attack from a standing position.

In that instance, as was often the case during a band member's solo, Carter and percussionist Eli Fountain were at his elbow, shouting encouragement (or good-natured ribbing—it was hard to tell). Laughs punctuated much of the performance as if the musicians were playing for themselves in someone's garage on a Saturday night. And sometimes this spirit of fun and experimentation turned the show into a slam dunk contest instead of a moving game of give and take.

Still, give me this mad music theater any day over oiled perfection. There's nothing like having your bones ground from an abrasive horn blast to let you know you're really alive.

Photo Credit

Matt Marshall

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