Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Ron Carter: Finding The Right Notes

10

Ron Carter: Finding The Right Notes

By

Sign in to view read count
Ron Carter: Finding The Right Notes
On October 21st 2022, America's PBS channel screened a two-hour documentary about the life and work of Ron Carter titled Finding The Right Notes. This seventy-three minute CD is the soundtrack. It is a beauty, a roll-around-in feast of Carter's inimitable, sumptuous bass.

The ten tracks, recorded between 2014 and 2021 in Europe and America, has Carter in situations ranging from duos to a big band, playing jazz standards, songs from the Great American Songbook and his own compositions. One track was recorded at the Newport Jazz Festival, three at the WDR studio in Cologne, two in European concert halls, and—in New York—two at the Blue Note, one at the Harlem Jazz Museum, and one at the Power Station studio.

If all this sounds like a mish mash, it absolutely is not. The album is cohesive, bound together by Carter's bass, which is featured in all the arrangements, including those with the WDR big band, and by the nature of the tunes which, a couple of velvety swingers aside, are intimate and reflective. None of the material has previously been released and much of it was recorded specially for the documentary. Only one track does not quite come off, Ann Ronell's "Willow Weep For Me," a jam with fellow bassist Christian McBride at the Harlem Jazz Museum. Somehow a bit too much, it may have worked better on screen.

The other nine tracks are unalloyed delights. There are three with the big band, all Carter originals: "Receipt, Please," "Blues For D.P." and "Doom Mood" (a palindrome rather than an exercise in gloom). Two are with a trio featuring guitarist Russell Malone and pianist Donald Vega: Carter's exquisite "A Nice Song" and Fletcher Henderson's swinging "Soft Winds." One is a duet with guitarist Bill Frisell: George Gershwin's "My Man's Gone Now." One is a trio with Malone and bassist Stanley Clarke: Milt Jackson's "Bag's Groove." One is with a quartet with pianist Renee Rosnes, tenor saxophonist Jimmy Greene and drummer Payton Crossley: Miles Davis' "Flamenco Sketches" (check the YouTube below).

The disc closes with an impromptu swing through Cliff Burwell's "Sweet Lorraine" with pianist Jon Batiste. Hopefully, the movie will reach European screens shortly.

Track Listing

Receipt Please; Soft Winds; Flamenco Sketches; Bags Groove; Willow Weep For Me; Blues For D.P.; Doom Mood; My Man’s Gone Now; A Nice Song; Sweet Lorraine.

Personnel

Additional Instrumentation

WDR Big Band (1, 6, 7); Russell Malone: guitar (2, 4, 9); Donald Vega: piano (2, 9); Renee Rosnes: piano (3); Jimmy Greene: tenor saxophone (3); Payton Crossley: drums (3); Stanley Clarke: bass (4); Christian McBride: bass (5); Bill Frisell: guitar (8); Jon Batiste: piano (10).

Album information

Title: Finding The Right Notes | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: In + Out Records

Comments


For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Tags

More

Skyllumina
Ruth Goller
Wonderful!
Mike LeDonne
Heart Mind and Soul
Randy Bernsen
Tidal Currents: East Meets West
Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.