John Carter: Dauwhe




The John Carter Octet


Dauwhe (Black Saint 0057 )

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John Carter (clarinet), Red Callender (tuba), Bobby Bradford (cornet), James Newton (flute, bass flute),

Charles Owens (clarinet), Roberto Miranda (bass), William Jeffery (drums), Luis Peralta (waterphone, percussion)


Composed by John Carter


Recorded: Los Angeles, CA; February, 1982


Rating: 91/100 (learn more)

John Carter’s masterwork, the five-volume Roots and Folklore: Episodes in the Development of American Folk Music, traces the evolution of contemporary urban music through the history of African-Americans and the legacy of slavery. Carter names “Dauwhe,” the title track of the first volume, for an ancient African goddess of happiness; the dedication is loving, but the music rings ominous. The ensemble blends are striking—with the purr of bowed bass and tuba; and clash of cornet and flute—not to mention the eerie ambience of Peralta’s scraped waterphone, and the leader’s shrieking clarinet. Miranda and Jeffery hurtle along with a free-bop swing that suggests the influence of Ornette Coleman, Carter’s childhood friend in Fort Worth.

Reviewer: Joe Petrucelli


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