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3,4,5: The Verve Small Group Sessions

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Album Review

Has there ever been a more consistent performer in jazz history over a longer period of time than Benny Carter? The classic altoist, who had fully formed his sound by the early '30s (he first recorded in 1927), has not altered his style much in the past 65 (and counting) years. The music on this Verve reissue CD features Carter in three settings: in a trio with pianist Teddy Wilson and drummer Jo Jones (those performances were only previously out in Japan), heading a quartet with pianist Don Abney, bassist George Duvivier and drummer Louis Bellson and showcased on three previously unissued tracks with the Oscar Peterson trio plus drummer Bobby White. Carter knew most of these standards extremely well and he glides effortlessly over the chord changes, infusing the music with swing and subtle creativity.

Customer Reviews

A Jazz Master

Benny Carter was working so much at scoring movies and arranging for his own bands and bands like Gene Krupa and Count Basie, that his brilliance as one of the original alto masters was often overlooked. Also, when this recording was made, it seemed as if every alto player stood in the shadow of Charlie Parker. Benny doesn't stand in anyone's shadow.


Beautiful softness to his horn . I listen to many and love many. I include Bennie as one of the my faves!


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 in its excellence. Benny Carter...
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