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Album Review

Altoist/arranger Benny Carter's classic Further Definitions is a revisiting, instrumentation-wise, to the famous 1937 session that Carter and tenor saxophonist Coleman Hawkins made in France with two top European saxophonists (Andre Ekyan and Alix Combelle) and guitarist Django Reinhardt. The all-star group (which also includes Hawkins, altoist Phil Woods, Charlie Rouse on second tenor, pianist Dick Katz, guitarist John Collins, bassist Jimmy Garrison, and drummer Jo Jones) performs a particularly inspired repertoire. Carter's charts, which allow Hawkins to stretch out on "Body and Soul," give everyone a chance to shine. "Honeysuckle Rose" and "Crazy Rhythm" hold their own with the 1937 versions, and "Blue Star" and "Doozy" prove to be two of Carter's finest originals. Although Benny Carter was not actively playing much at the time (this was his only small-group recording during 1963-1975), he is heard in typically prime form. Very highly recommended.

Customer Reviews

Classic! Classic! Classic!

Here is a recording that comes close to compiling the history of jazz. Benny Carter, God bless his soul, is the one-man history of jazz, truly among the triumverate of great alto sax players, not to mention music arrangers who first broke the color line in Hollywood. Benny, though you are no longer of this world, we will never miss you.

One Of The Greatest Jazz Recordings Ever!!

This recording, considered Benny Carter's greatest recording, is also, in my own humble opinion, one of the greatest jazz recordings ever. It can stand beside other classics like Kind Of Blue or Giant Steps. Benny Carter was one of the original jazz alto sax stylists, and also the architect for the modern big band. He continued to be musically relevant throughout his life and until his death in 2003 at the age of 96. With a monster lineup of musicians, Benny showed why he was one of jazz music's greatest players and arrangers. I won't discuss the music or the players, as they clearly speak for themselves. Just listen and get completely blown away.

Biography

Born: August 8, 1907 in New York, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

To say that Benny Carter had a remarkable and productive career would be an extreme understatement. As an altoist, arranger, composer, bandleader, and occasional trumpeter, Carter was at the top of his field since at least 1928, and in the late '90s, Carter was as strong an altoist at the age of 90 as he was in 1936 (when he was merely 28). His gradually evolving style did not change much through the decades, but neither did it become at all stale or predictable except...
Full Bio

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