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The James Carter Organ Trio at FlynnSpace

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The James Carter Organ Trio Flynn Center for the Performing Arts/FlynnSpace Burlington, VT February 22, 2014 There were no Motown tunes among the eclectic mix of material that the James Carter Organ Trio played during their early show at FlynnSpace, but shortly into their set, when the threesome hit their stride on a brisk and insistent improvisation during “Melodie Au Crepuscule," lines from Martha & The Vandellas' “Dancing in the Street' came to mind: ..."There'll be swingin' swayin' music playin..." And surely Flynn artistic director Steve MacQueen was correct when he said the ...

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James Carter Organ Trio: At The Crossroads

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James Carter Organ TrioAt the CrossroadsEmarcy Records 2011 Jazz has many faces. Some are searching and expansive, like those of alto saxophonists Ornette Coleman and John Coltrane, seeking the outer edges of the music. Some are reverent and deferential, like the Modern Jazz Quartet and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, trying to lend respectability to the music borne in the whore houses of New Orleans' Storyville district. But like every family, there are the black sheep, the ones that want to stay out all night long, drinking and smoking pursuing all manner of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

James Carter Organ Trio: At The Crossroads

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A ubiquitous presence in the mid-1990s, saxophonist James Carter faded from the limelight when Atlantic Records disbanded its jazz department in 2000. Undeterred, Carter forged ahead, eventually signing with EmArcy Records in 2008, turning misfortune into opportunity. In addition to releasing Carter's engaging Present Tense the same year, the label also issued his long-awaited premiere of composer Roberto Sierra's “Concerto for Saxophones," featured on Caribbean Rhapsody (2011).Picking up where Atlantic left off, EmArcy continues to encourage Carter's stylistic diversity on At The Crossroads, the first studio recording of his longstanding, Detroit-based organ trio with organist Gerard Gibbs and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

James Carter Organ Trio: At The Crossroads

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No one brings more swagger and flavor with their playing than multi-reedman James Carter. A zealous nod to the blues, gospel, and jazz, he looks back to the music's rich history and presses onward in At the Crossroads with his organ trio including organist Gerard Gibbs and drummer Leonard King Jr., who have performed together for nearly ten years Carter has been sometimes criticized as being too loud and showy but he's a unequivocal virtuoso, with encyclopedic releases that have spanned everything from a Django Reinhardt tribute in Chasin' The Gypsy (Atlantic, 2000) to classical music excursions ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

James Carter: Caribbean Rhapsody

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Reconciling the improvisational nature of jazz with the semi-rigid confines of classical constructs like the concerto has never been easy. While concertos are meant to highlight a soloist, making this format seem like a perfect home in which a jazz instrumentalist can dwell, the oft-scripted nature of all parts involved, including the solo, works against one of the key principles in jazz: spontaneous composition. While James Carter's collaboration with composer Roberto Sierra should rightly be hailed for all of the musical wonders contained within, the greatest achievement here is the inclusion of off-the-cuff elements within an intricately composed musical housing. ...

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James Carter: Caribbean Rhapsody

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James CarterCaribbean RhapsodyEmarcy2011 Multi-reedist James Carter is both a student and master of all things saxophone. He is a keeper of the jazz flame much in the same way trumpeter Wynton Marsalis is, without Marsalis' conservative inclinations. Carter has been inventive in his projects, two of which were the well-received Chasin' The Gypsy (Atlantic, 2000), addressing the music of guitarist Django Reinhardt, and Gardenias For Lady Day (Sony, 2003), tipping his hat to singer Billie Holiday. Carter has also fronted a progressive organ trio resulting in the uniformly fine Out of ...

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Sphinx and Preacher: James Carter and the Odean Pope Saxophone Choir

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Odean Pope Saxophone Choir, featuring James Carter Blue Note New York, New York March 15, 2009 For the first thirty minutes of its set on Sunday night, the Odean Pope Saxophone Choir displayed its signature blend of precision and warmth, eight saxophones—nine when Pope stopped conducting and took up his axe—soaring and diving in unison like a well-built wooden rollercoaster. Pope's ensemble delivered a funky opener, a knotty tribute to Max Roach, and a rendition of “Giant Steps," which sent Coltrane's vexing intervals ricocheting between the saxophones—a soulful exercise in counterpoint. ...



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