256

James Carter: Live at Baker's Keyboard Lounge

Chris M. Slawecki By

Sign in to view read count
James Carter: Live at Baker's Keyboard Lounge In 2001, James Carter commanded soprano, tenor, and baritone saxophones on one of the most famous jazz stages in his Detroit hometown, leading keyboardists Gerald Gibbs and Kenn Cox, trumpeter Dwight Adams, bassist Ralphe Armstrong, and drummers Leonard King and Richard "Pistol" Allen, plus special guests, through three hot summer nights.

Just like he covers every saxophone, Carter covers just about every style, on Live at Baker's. On the first track, Oscar Pettiford's "Tricotism," his playing reshapes a solid groove into an harmonic adventure much further out, like Lou Donaldson and Pharoah Sanders blowing on the same bandstand. On Don Byas' stately tenor ballad, Carter swings "Free and Easy."

Carter and guest tenor David Murray lay an ass-whipping on "Freedom Jazz Dance" of which its composer—'the lamented, mercurial Eddie Harri—would surely be proud. Dueling on the melody, each inspiring the other to play hotter, while the drummer boils the pot with a hard-rocking snare sound, a true flash of transcendent musical communion from a blazing spirit of live performance. Just great.

Guest tenor Franz Jackson lays a hilarious vocal down in this charmingly unpolished "I Can't Get Started," as Carter's soprano sings sweet and light in contrast to Jackson's gruff "Satchmo" vocal.

The set ends with Carter, Murray, Jackson and Johnny Griffin all honking tenor madness on an electrifying eleven-minute workout through "Foot Pattin'" which showcases bassist Armstrong in a taffy-pull, elastic solo spot. In the true Motor City tradition of bassist James Jamerson, Armstrong plays the musical fulcrum and unsung hero throughout, hot-wiring "Tricotism" and "Foot Pattin'" then driving them hard to their finish, and sliding deep down into the funk of "Freedom Jazz Dance."

As for Carter, he looks back in his liner notes at this gig as "a hip and blessed homecoming." Who says you can't go home again?

Track Listing: Tricotism; Soul Street; Freedom Jazz Dance; I Can't Get Started; Free and Easy; Low Flame; Sack Full of Dreams

Personnel: James Carter, soprano, tenor, and baritone sax; Johnny Griffin, tenor sax; David Murray, tenor sax; Franz Jackson, tenor sax, vocal; Larry Smith, alto sax; Dwight Adams, trumpet; Kenn Cox, piano; Gerard Gibbs, organ; Ralphe Armstrong, bass; Leonard King, drums; Richard "Pistol" Allen, drums.

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Warner Bros. | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


comments powered by Disqus

Shop

More Articles

Read This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People CD/LP/Track Review This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Nigerian Spirit CD/LP/Track Review Nigerian Spirit
by James Nadal
Published: May 29, 2017
Read The Colours Suite CD/LP/Track Review The Colours Suite
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Les Liasons Dangereuses 1960 CD/LP/Track Review Les Liasons Dangereuses 1960
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 29, 2017
Read Chapter Five CD/LP/Track Review Chapter Five
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 28, 2017
Read The Hive CD/LP/Track Review The Hive
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 28, 2017
Read "Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny" CD/LP/Track Review Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 4, 2016
Read "Message From Saturn" CD/LP/Track Review Message From Saturn
by James Nadal
Published: November 12, 2016
Read "Machine Gun: Live At The Fillmore East First Show" CD/LP/Track Review Machine Gun: Live At The Fillmore East First Show
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: November 6, 2016
Read "Prototype" CD/LP/Track Review Prototype
by Jeff Winbush
Published: April 13, 2017
Read "Rejoice! I'm Dead!" CD/LP/Track Review Rejoice! I'm Dead!
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 11, 2017
Read "Live at the Stone: Megaloprepus Caerulatus" CD/LP/Track Review Live at the Stone: Megaloprepus Caerulatus
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 2, 2017

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!