241

Benny Carter: Jazz Giant

David Rickert By

Sign in to view read count
Benny Carter: Jazz Giant
“Jazz giant” is a term immediately greeted with skepticism, yet Benny Carter fills the role better than most. Perhaps the greatest of the big band leaders that most people have never heard of, Carter finally settled down in Hollywood in the fifties and began to record the full-length albums that eventually cemented his reputation. Jazz Giant is an excellent piece of work that serves as a relic from a bygone era when Kansas City swing was in its prime.

In addition to Carter, Ben Webster – another “giant” who had a rebirth as an artist in the fifties – huffs his way through a few choruses on each tune, which is reason enough for some to seek out this record. A cadre of West Coast jazz musicians, who most likely devoured Carter’s earlier sides when they came out, provide enthusiastic accompaniment. The group strolls through a selection of songs that either come from the early part of the century, or originals that might as well have been.

Although Rowles, Kessel, and Rosolino acquit themselves nicely, nothing approaches the treat of hearing Webster and Carter go at it. Carter solos with gentlemanly elegance and darting phrases, finding rich harmonic avenues in chestnuts like “Ain’t She Sweet.” Webster, on the other hand, ambles through the changes, patiently employing a lovely tone with just enough edge to keep from sounding too sentimental. As a bonus, Carter shows his skill on the trumpet on two numbers, both of which demonstrate that he could have had quite a career on his second instrument.

The running time is brief – barely forty minutes – but there’s enough classic swing here to remind the listener of a time when jazz was more about keeping good company than introspective exploration.

Track Listing

1. Old Fashioned Love 2. I'm Coming Virginia 3. A Walkin' Thing 4. Blue Lou 5. Ain't She Sweet 6. How Can You Lose 7. Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives To Me.

Personnel

Benny Carter-alto sax, trumpet; Ben Webster-tenor sax; Frank Rosolino-trombone; Andre Previn, Jimmy Rowles-piano; Barney Kessel-guitar; Leroy Vinnegar-bass; Shelly Manne-drums.

Album information

Title: Jazz Giant | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Fantasy Jazz

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Aufbruch
J. Peter Schwalm & Markus Reuter
Purvs
Liudas Mockūnas
Chapter One
Marieke Koopman
Griots
Gerald Cleaver

Popular

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.