Benny Carter: I Got it Bad (And That Ain't Good)
I Got it Bad (And That Ain't Good)
Benny Carter (alto sax)
Cosmopolite (Verve 314 521 673-2)
Composed by Duke Ellington and Paul Francis Webster.
Recorded: New York, September 18, 1952
Rating: 93/100 (learn more)
You could admire Benny Carter for many things -- his composing or arranging, or his work on a half dozen or so instruments. But this track will tell you why he is considered one of the finest alto sax soloists in the history of jazz. His improvisation on the Ellington standard has it all: a rich, creamy tone, fresh ideas, relaxed phrasing and a delicate sense of swing. Above all, the performance is perfectly aligned with the emotional landscape Ellington intended for this song. The rhythm section is packed with Hall of Famers, but they know to lay low and let Carter run the show. If you don't know Mr. Carter, this track is a perfect place to make his acquaintance.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia
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See also "Remembering Benny Carter"