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Album Review

Twenty-five at the time of this CD, James Carter had already absorbed much of the tradition. His debut as a leader includes compositions by the classic tenors Don Byas and John Hardee, Duke Ellington's "Sophisticated Lady" and even a Sun Ra ballad. He also shows that he has the courage to play completely outside whenever it seems logical to him; in fact on the title cut Carter moves from Gene Ammons and Illinois Jacquet to outbursts a la David Murray in the stratosphere. But most importantly, at this early stage James Carter already had his own sound. He switches between the tenor (his main ax) to alto and baritone, shows self-restraint on the ballads and fills his improvisations with continual surprises. Joined by the supportive pianist Craig Taborn, bassist Jaribu Shahid and drummer Tani Tabbal, James Carter puts on quite a tour-de-force throughout this very impressive set.


Born: 03 January 1969 in Detroit, MI

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

After Wynton Marsalis, no one caused more of an uproar than James Carter did when he appeared on the New York jazz scene from his native Detroit. Carter's debut recording, JC on the Set, issued in Japan when he was only 23, and in the States a year later in 1993, was universally acclaimed as the finest debut by a saxophonist in decades. Critics lauded his ability to play in virtually any jazz style without appearing to ape anyone. Carter, who began playing at 11 and studied with trumpeter Marcus...
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JC ON THE SET, James Carter
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