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Uptown Conversation

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Album Review

Ron Carter's Uptown Conversation may very well be the most intriguing, challenging, and resonant statement of many he has made over the years as a leader. As a prelude to his funkier electric efforts for CTI and the wonderful dates for Milestone Records, where he emphasized the piccolo bass, these selections showcase Carter with unlikely partners in early creative improvised settings, a hint of R&B, and some of the hard-charging straight-ahead music that he is most well known for. Flute master Hubert Laws takes a prominent role on several tracks, including the title cut with its funky but not outdated style, where he works in tandem with Carter's basslines. On "R.J.," the short hard bop phrasings of Laws and Carter are peppy and brisk, but not clipped. The first rendering of "Little Waltz," apart from the Miles Davis repertoire to which Carter contributed, is more pensive and delicate, with Laws at the helm rather than Davis' trumpet. Carter's trio recordings with pianist Herbie Hancock and drummer Billy Cobham are cast in a different light, as the lengthy "Half a Row" (referring to six of a 12-tone row) is at once free, spacy, loose, and very atypical for these soon-to-be fusion pioneers. The three stay in a similar dynamic range during "Einbahnstrasse," but move to some hard bop changes informed by the brilliant chordal vamping and extrapolating of Hancock, while "Doom" is another 3/4 waltz with chiming piano offsetting Carter's skittering bass. There's also a free-and-easy duet with guitarist Sam Brown. Considering the music Ron Carter played preceding and following this effort, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more diverse, intellectually stimulating, enlivened, and especially unrestricted musical statement in his long and enduring career. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

Biography

Born: May 04, 1937 in Ferndale, MI

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The epitome of class and elegance without the stuffiness, Ron Carter has been a world-class bassist and cellist since the '60s. He's among the greatest accompanists of all time, and has made many albums exhibiting his prodigious technique. He's a brilliant rhythmic and melodic player, who uses everything in the bass and cello arsenal; walking lines, thick, full, prominent notes and tones, drones and strumming effects, and melody snippets. His bowed solos are almost as impressive as those done with...
Full bio
Uptown Conversation, Ron Carter
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  • $8.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Hard Bop
  • Released: Oct 06, 1969

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