How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Ron Carter’s tribute to Oscar Pettiford features three of the late, great bassist’s compositions and an all-star lineup. As Pettiford loved to swing a beautiful melody, so do Carter and his teammates in this fluid affair. The leader’s deep respect for essential elements, such as intonation, tone quality and balance, remains focused at the heart of the matter. Elegance and genuine passion imbue the session with soul. Carter, Benny Golson, Joe Locke and Roland Hanna flirt with melody the way a hummingbird attends honeysuckle blossoms: all phases are touched upon lightly in turn, while the flower’s sweet nectar occupies a special place. Highly recommended, and a solid candidate for album of the year, Stardust paints straight-ahead jazz with a characteristic paintbrush that’s both tied to tradition and glaring at the leading edges. In order to grow, jazz need not sacrifice quality for the introduction of new and unique elements, just for the sake of being different. Advertisers know only too well how easily we remember novel ideas and shocking effects. Jazz doesn’t need to be shocked in order to grow. Ron Carter’s project allows jazz to grow gradually, through the hands of masters who have studied the literature thoroughly, and with both eyes wide open.
Track Listing: Tamalpais; The Man I Love; Nearly; Bohemia After Dark; Tail Feathers; Blues in the Closet; That?s Deep; Stardust.
Personnel: Ron Carter- bass; Benny Golson- tenor saxophone; Joe Locke- vibraphone; Sir Roland Hanna- piano; Lenny White- drums.