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Southern Bells

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Album Review

In 1984, clarinetists John Carter, Alvin Batiste, Jimmy Hamilton and David Murray (on bass clarinet) performed a concert that was recorded and released by India Navigation. Three years later, they regrouped for a studio session. Three selections are slightly "traditional" ("I Want to Talk About You," a Hamilton-Carter duet on "Perdido" and a brief "Don't Get Around Much Anymore"), but the bulk of this set is taken up with more advanced improvising, including Batiste's lengthy "Fluffy's Blues" and Murray's free improv "Mbizo." Intriguing music (Jimmy Hamilton really stretches himself); recommended to avant-garde listeners rather than Duke Ellington fans.


Formed: 1979

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s

For a concert at the Public Theatre in New York, John Carter organized a unique group consisting of David Murray on bass clarinet, and the clarinets of Alvin Batiste, Jimmy Hamilton, and himself. Hamilton (who was with Duke Ellington's Orchestra for 26 years) and the flexible Batiste played some spontaneous swing, Carter and Murray went outside during their features, and all four had opportunities to inspire each other. The results of the concert were released on two...
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Southern Bells, Clarinet Summit
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