12 Songs, 1 Hour 14 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

At the Crossroads serves a delicious form of musical comfort food: funky organ trio jazz. But saxophonist James Carter throws in new spices. He leads a trio with Gerard Gibbs on organ and Leonard King Jr. on drums—the threesome all have ties to Detroit—but at various points things are fattened up by guitarists, vocalists, and a horn section. Carter has a big sound on any horn he plays. His lively performances avoid pat moves as he explores and expands on a familiar format. The opening cut, “Oh Gee,” is a ferociously swinging jump blues, with Bruce Edwards adding nice comping on guitar as Carter burns on tenor. Vocalist Miche Braden shouts it out on “Ramblin’ Blues,” a track with exciting horn solos. Carter saves one of the best cuts for last. It’s a version of Julius Hemphill’s “The Hard Blues,” a piece that first appeared on the 1975 Hemphill classic Coon Bid’ness. With its mix of gutbucket and avant, it’s a perfect choice for Carter—someone who takes the old and runs with it into the future.

EDITORS’ NOTES

At the Crossroads serves a delicious form of musical comfort food: funky organ trio jazz. But saxophonist James Carter throws in new spices. He leads a trio with Gerard Gibbs on organ and Leonard King Jr. on drums—the threesome all have ties to Detroit—but at various points things are fattened up by guitarists, vocalists, and a horn section. Carter has a big sound on any horn he plays. His lively performances avoid pat moves as he explores and expands on a familiar format. The opening cut, “Oh Gee,” is a ferociously swinging jump blues, with Bruce Edwards adding nice comping on guitar as Carter burns on tenor. Vocalist Miche Braden shouts it out on “Ramblin’ Blues,” a track with exciting horn solos. Carter saves one of the best cuts for last. It’s a version of Julius Hemphill’s “The Hard Blues,” a piece that first appeared on the 1975 Hemphill classic Coon Bid’ness. With its mix of gutbucket and avant, it’s a perfect choice for Carter—someone who takes the old and runs with it into the future.

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