Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

455

James Carter: Gardenias for Lady Day

By

Sign in to view read count
Saxophonist James Carter pays tribute to Billie Holiday on Gardenias for Lady Day. This is the first recording by Carter since his tribute to another jazz icon, Django Reinhardt, on Chasin' the Gypsy. An extremely creative and adaptable musician, Carter's multi-reed talents are valuable and welcomed additions. The new rhythm section of pianist John Hicks, bassist Peter Washington, and drummer Victor Lewis is bolstered by Greg Cohen and Cassius Richmond's graceful orchestral arrangements. The music for the album includes four compositions from Billie Holiday's repertoire, "(I Wonder) Where Our Love Has Gone," "I'm In A Low Down Groove," "Strange Fruit," and "More than You Know," with four other tunes Carter believes would have suited the late singer, "Gloria," "Sunset," "A Flower Is a Lonesome Thing," and "Indian Summer."

It is difficult to gauge exactly how much of Holiday's essence is actually captured here. Focusing primarily on Carter's wide-ranging abilities, Gardenias For Lady Day celebrates a bygone era in jazz, grandiose in scale, capable of capturing any and every emotion. "Gloria," the Don Byas' tune, is given an elegant, evocative string arrangement, with Carter's fluid tenor work pacing a nostalgic dance. "I'm In a Low Down Groove" finds Carter playing baritone, tenor, and F mezzo saxophones with such distinction on each that the tune never becomes a tepid showcase for his talents. Instead, each horn provides a voice, its own wail, its own cry, and its own interpretation of the blues. On "Strange Fruit," the most daring and challenging piece on the album, the images are ghastly, as Miche Braden provides the vocals to a horrific chapter in American history.

Presented in a hybrid SACD format, the sound on Gardenias for Lady Day is exceptionally clear, allowing the listener to better appreciate Carter as he escorts a spiritual, graceful beauty that, on second thought, merges with Billie Holiday.

Visit Columbia Records on the web.


Track Listing: 1. Gloria (Byas) - 6:01 2. Sunset (Calloway/Harding/Ricks) - 5:24 3. (I Wonder) Where Our Love Has Gone (Johnson) - 6:22 4. I'm in a Low Down Groove (Jacobs) - 4:39 5. Strange Fruit (Allan) - 4:20 6. A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing (Strayhorn) - 5:54 7. Indian Summer (Herbert V.) - 6:52 8. More Than You Know (Eliscu/Rose/Youmans) - 6:37

Personnel: James Carter - Tenor Sax, Baritone Sax, Contrabass Clarinet, Soprano Sax; John Hicks - Piano; Victor Lewis - Drums; Myung Hi Kim - Violin; Jeanne LeBlanc - Cello; Sandra Park - Violin; Erik Ralske - French Horn; Bruce Wang - Cello; Peter Washington - Bass; Sarah Seiver - Cello; Ann Kim - Violin; Eileen Moon - Cello; Mina Smith - Cello; Sharon Yamada - Violin; Robert Rinehart - Viola; Phil Myers - French Horn; Elizabeth Dyson - Cello; Lisa Kim - Violin; Jeff Nelson - Bass Trombone; Sarah Kim - Violin; Tom Rosenthal - Viola.

Title: Gardenias for Lady Day | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Columbia Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read OR CD/LP/Track Review OR
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2018
Read The Songbook Project CD/LP/Track Review The Songbook Project
by Don Phipps
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Solo a Genova CD/LP/Track Review Solo a Genova
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Reaching Out CD/LP/Track Review Reaching Out
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Satoko Fujii Solo CD/LP/Track Review Satoko Fujii Solo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 17, 2018
Read when the shade is stretched CD/LP/Track Review when the shade is stretched
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2018
Read "Twin" CD/LP/Track Review Twin
by Fiona Ord-Shrimpton
Published: April 6, 2017
Read "Tyrant Lizard" CD/LP/Track Review Tyrant Lizard
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 2, 2017
Read "What Brought You Here?" CD/LP/Track Review What Brought You Here?
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 20, 2017
Read "The Vampires Meet Lionel Loueke" CD/LP/Track Review The Vampires Meet Lionel Loueke
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 16, 2017
Read "Coalesce" CD/LP/Track Review Coalesce
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 27, 2017
Read "TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)" CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017