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DVD/VIDEO/FILM REVIEWS

Benny Carter: Symphony in Riffs

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Benny Carter Symphony in Riffs Rhapsody Films 2008

Benny Carter was a man of many parts. He played the trumpet and saxophone, he scored music for films and television, he was an educator, and he was an arranger in a class of his own. Carter was born in 1907, and in commemoration of his 100th birth anniversary, Rhapsody Films has re-released Symphony in Riffs. Though the original was released in 1989, the current version goes past that date into the 90s. It is a fitting document of an outstanding talent. ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Benny Carter: Just Friends & The Benny Carter Centennial Project

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Mel Martin/Benny Carter Quintet Just Friends Jazzed Media 2007 Various Artists The Benny Carter Centennial Project Evening Star 2007

Recorded live at Yoshi's in Oakland in April 1994, Just Friends is a celebration of the longtime musical partnership of saxophonist/flutist Mel Martin and composer/alto sax legend Benny Carter. Timed to coincide with Carter's birth centennial, this previously unreleased set features exceptional support from two other frequent Carter accompanists -- Roger Kellaway ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mel Martin / Benny Carter Quintet: Just Friends

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Saxophonist Mel Martin, the lesser known half of this clever musical equation, first met the legendary Benny Carter in 1987 and played alongside him for the first time three years later. This quintet date, recorded live at Yoshi's nightclub in Oakland in April 1994, as Carter was nearing his eighty-seventh birthday, shows why he was able to span so easily the eras from swing to bop and beyond and assimilate their changes. His perspective was firmly rooted in the tradition even as he espoused fresh ideas and made them a part of his singularly wide-ranging style.

Carter and Martin remained ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Benny Carter: Sax ala Carter!

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This album represents just a small facet of Benny Carter's musical activity during the '50s and '60s, a good deal of which was occupied by writing and arranging in Hollywood. Nevertheless, Carter always seemed to be involved in a number of projects, this 1960 release being just one.

Accompanied by a first-rate trio of Jimmy Rowles (piano), Leroy Vinnegar (bass) and Mel Lewis (drums), the “King" tackled a collection of fairly familiar tunes on a then-United Artists album in 1960. As biographer and annotator Ed Berger points out, while the album was aimed at a broader listening audience than strictly ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Benny Carter: Jazz Giant

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“Jazz giant” is a term immediately greeted with skepticism, yet Benny Carter fills the role better than most. Perhaps the greatest of the big band leaders that most people have never heard of, Carter finally settled down in Hollywood in the fifties and began to record the full-length albums that eventually cemented his reputation. Jazz Giant is an excellent piece of work that serves as a relic from a bygone era when Kansas City swing was in its prime.

In addition to Carter, Ben Webster – another “giant” who had a rebirth as an artist in the ...

ARTIST PROFILES

Benny Carter (1907-2003)

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Submitted on behalf of Michael Anthony During 2003 we lost the last survivors of a hardy and influential generation. They were men and women who were born at the turn of the last century. They influenced the culture of the 20th Century. These tireless artists via the new mediums that were available to them (radio, motion pictures and television) changed how we laughed (Bob Hope), how we viewed women (Katharine Hepburn), how we heard music (Benny Carter) and even how we celebrated this new American “pop culture" (Al Hirschfeld). While all of these artists influenced ...



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