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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kent Carter String Trio: Intersections

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Legendary bassist Kent Carter's broad musicality is about much more than simply dabbling within fleeting interests, as evident on this quasi-chamber jazz session. Whether performing within free jazz circles or the modern mainstream, Carter is often an intense stylist. On this string trio endeavor, the bassist serves as the anchor while enjoying ample breathing room among his bandmates' zigzagging staccato lines.

Cerebral in scope yet sometimes fragile with intent, the band pursues daintily melodic chamber frameworks while also generating a number of unexpected surprises. On “Intentions #1, the artists deliver inwardly moving choruses offset by verbose exchanges, and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kent Carter String Trio: The Willisau Suites

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To hear bassist Kent Carter on this '84 recording (augmented with two '97 tracks) is to hear the bassist in an entirely different context than anything his work with Steve Lacy and Paul Bley would belie. Always an artist with a penchant for strengthening an ensemble and its collective voice, Carter has comprised his ostensibly “solo" work of exercises and experiments documenting his search for a unified string conception in a group context. The use of overdubbed parts on everything from Ligeti-esque soundmasses to Eastern European folk explorations on his '74 Emanem recording, Beauvais Cathedral, point directly to Carter as ...

INTERVIEWS

Kent Carter and the Continental Continuum

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Best known for his work as principal bassist in the ensembles of Steve Lacy between 1965 and 1982, Kent Carter has worked squarely within the annals of the 'new thing' almost since its inception. However, most of his career has been as an expatriate - and it is something rare to have a foothold in both European improvised music and the revolutionary New York New Thing. Carter is deeply involved in the possibility for not only the bass, but string writing and improvising in general, something which he has expanded upon in his string trios and the occasional solo project. ...

ARTIST PROFILES

Kent Carter

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There are those improvisers who find Europe both a financially more stable climate as well as an aesthetic challenge. Steve Lacy and his regular bassist for almost 20 years, Kent Carter, are a prime example. Carter, while certainly his own musician with a unique conception, is in some ways inextricably tied to Lacy, for the path to musical freedom was reached through the open door of European improvisation. Carter was born June 14, 1939 in New Hampshire, though he was raised in Vermont. Starting on cello and bassoon, his woody tone came naturally, as did an interest ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kent Carter: Beauvais Cathedral (1974-75)

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It used to be a very rare event for a bassist to make a solo record. Now things have changed a bit, but Beauvais Cathedral takes the listener back to the day. This disc is not exactly a solo bass disc (3 tracks are solo bass and one is solo cello; the rest are higher-order units) but it conveys a strong sense of single- mindedness and direction. Kent Carter's first experiments in this realm from 1974-75 portray a clever and focused mind at work. The use of edits and overdubs on most of these tracks reveals a coherence and symphonic ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kent Carter & Albrecht Maurer: The Juillaguet Collection

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Bassist Kent Carter moved from the United States to Europe in the 60’s which has led him on somewhat of a storybook course through the British Free-Jazz movement, stints with Steve Lacy, Paul Bley and many others. Here, the master bassist performs a series of duets with the equally adept violinist Albrecht Maurer taking place at Carter’s recording studio in the quaint town of “Juillaguet”, which appropriately translates into The Juillaguet Collection.

Throughout these nine pieces, Carter and Maurer exhibit uncanny intuitiveness especially since most of these pieces are improvised as the duo obtain the most from their resonant, wooden-toned ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kent Carter / Albrecht Maurer: The Juillaguet Collection

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Free improvisations that are stunning in their richness and melodic tonalities. Bassist Kent Carter, a veteran of Steve Lacy's Seventies groups, and violinist Albrecht Maurer obviously know each other very well. The music they make together is full of “conventional" harmonies as much as it is of dissonance, so that these pieces sound classically designed and wide-ranging, as if Stravinsky or Mahler had suddenly taken up free improvisation.

Each is a lovely little piece, with the longest (and one of the two based on prearranged themes), “Archaic Fragments," clocking in at a little over thirteen minutes. The others are never ...



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