All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

238

Ron Carter: When Skies Are Grey

By

Sign in to view read count
The album cover for Ron Carter's When Skies Are Grey shows the jazz bassist contemplatively looking up toward an overcast New York City sky.

Perhaps the title is in reference to how Carter felt during the recording sessions because his wife had died the week before. He attended funeral services over that weekend and came to the studio the following Monday morning.

But when you listen to the music that came from those sessions, you'll hear the consummate bassist implementing his amazing skills on seven Latin-tinged tunes. Perhaps the exquisite melodies lifted Carter's spirits.

Joining Carter on When Skies Are Grey are Stephen Scott on piano, Harvey Mason on drums and Steve Kroon on percussion.

Carter and arranger Bob Freedman have dipped into the Latin genre, using the straight 4/4 beat and auxiliary percussion, while seamlessly placing the syncopated elements of jazz into the songs.

The way Carter solos on Consuelo Velazquez's "Besame Mucho," it's as if he's mimicking a trumpet or saxophone. You wouldn't expect a bassist to play fast sixteenth notes, but what else would you expect from the man who helped keep the pulse for Miles Davis' 1960s quintet.

With the opening track, Carter's "Loose Change," the quartet jumps from a straight Latin 4/4 to a swing rhythm, then back to the Latin pattern before switching gears yet again to cut-time swing. Carter, Mason and Kroon never lose the beat, while Scott effortlessly tickles the ivories.

On Ray Bryant's "Cubano Chant," the group starts off in a medium-fast Latin feel, occasionally breaking into 7/4. Suddenly, the mood switches to swing, with Carter playing a walking bass line. They then return to the Latin beat, with Mason and Kroon having a drumming duel.

Carter's "Mi Tiempo" also features smooth transitions in unexpected places, this time going from Latin to swing to cut-time swing and back to Latin.

Scott is absent from the song, so Carter takes over the melody post, leaving Mason and Kroon to solo around the bass.

In all, When Skies Are Grey is an impressive, unique mixture of two electrifying genres from one of jazz's most prolific bassists.

Track Listing: Loose Change, Besame Mucho, Caminando, Que Pasa, Corcovado, Cubano Chant, Mi Tiempo.

Personnel: Ron Carter: bass; Stephen Scott: piano; Harvey Mason: drums; Steve Kroon: percussion.

Title: When Skies Are Grey | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Blue Note Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

View All Events

Create Widget | Open RSS Feed

Date Time Detail Price
Oct23Tue 8:30 pm 8:30 pm
Ron Carter
Birdland
New York, NY
$30
Oct23Tue 11:00 pm 11:00 pm
Ron Carter
Birdland
New York, NY
$30
Oct24Wed 8:30 pm 8:30 pm
Ron Carter
Birdland
New York, NY
$30
Oct24Wed 11:00 pm 11:00 pm
Ron Carter
Birdland
New York, NY
$30
Oct25Thu 8:30 pm 8:30 pm
Ron Carter
Birdland
New York, NY
$30
Oct25Thu 11:00 pm 11:00 pm
Ron Carter
Birdland
New York, NY
$30
Oct26Fri 8:30 pm 8:30 pm
Ron Carter
Birdland
New York, NY
$30

Related Articles

Read iQba - Jazz Meets Cuban Timba CD/LP/Track Review
iQba - Jazz Meets Cuban Timba
by Troy Dostert
Published: October 21, 2018
Read Globe Unity - 50 Years CD/LP/Track Review
Globe Unity - 50 Years
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2018
Read Murals CD/LP/Track Review
Murals
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 21, 2018
Read Accelerator CD/LP/Track Review
Accelerator
by Doug Collette
Published: October 21, 2018
Read Little Big CD/LP/Track Review
Little Big
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: October 21, 2018
Read Shades CD/LP/Track Review
Shades
by Doug Collette
Published: October 20, 2018
Read "Interchange" CD/LP/Track Review Interchange
by Don Phipps
Published: August 2, 2018
Read "Monochrome" CD/LP/Track Review Monochrome
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 4, 2018
Read "Journey" CD/LP/Track Review Journey
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 1, 2018
Read "Puerto de Buenos Aires 1933" CD/LP/Track Review Puerto de Buenos Aires 1933
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 15, 2018
Read "Jazz for All (Jazz Forró)" CD/LP/Track Review Jazz for All (Jazz Forró)
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: May 15, 2018
Read "Smoke" CD/LP/Track Review Smoke
by Joe Gatto
Published: November 24, 2017