James Carter: Bro. Dolphy


Bro. Dolphy


James Carter (bass clarinet)


PresentTense (EmArcy 10985)

Buy Track


James Carter (bass clarinet), Dwight Adams (trumpet), D.D. Jackson (piano), James Genus (bass), Victor Lewis (drums).

Composed by James Carter


Recorded: New York, September 21-23, 2007


Rating: 91/100 (learn more)

Some artists try to maintain a single mood or attitude for an entire CD . . . or perhaps even an entire career. Not James Carter, who plays every instrument in the Horn Hall of Fame -- with total confidence and command, I should add -- and is equally eclectic in his choice of songs. His current release PresentTense finds him resurrecting tunes associated with Dodo Marmarosa, Stanley Turrentine and Django Reinhardt, to cite just three examples. But on this track Carter features his own composition, dedicated to Eric Dolphy, a piece which serves as an effective vehicle for Carter's admirable bass clarinet work. The song opens with a fast obstacle course over rapidly shifting changes, and the bandleader hurdles over the chords in gold medal fashion. But Carter, true to form, abruptly nixes the mood less than one minute into the track. We now are treated to a glowing Mingus-ish ballad that lingers for a while. We even have time to pour a drink, kick back and soak up the soulfulness. The whole band plays effectively here, but Carter's lengthy solo is the highlight of the track. However, don't enjoy his bass clarinet work too much, because that instrument soon goes back into its case, and we are off to the next horn exhibit in the Hall of Fame.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia


Comments are closed.