Magazine article IAJRC Journal

The Benny Carter Centennial Project

Magazine article IAJRC Journal

The Benny Carter Centennial Project

Article excerpt

The Benny Carter Centennial Project

Evening Star ES-113

Phil Woods (as), Joe Wilder, Warren Vaché, Randy Sandke (tpts), Jack Stuckey, Will Anderson (as), Loren Schoenberg, Peter Anderson (ts), Jay Brandford (bar s), Chris Neville, John Coates (pno), James Chirillo, Russell Malone (gtr), Steve LaSpina (bs), Steve Johns (dms)

plus Benny Carter's last recording-on piano.

Recorded New York City, March 2007, Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania, Feb 2007 and Benny Carter's Los Angeles home in 2001.

I'm In The Mood For Swing / Johnny / I'm Coming Virginia / Again And Again / Far Away / Angeline / Where The Warm Winds Blow-medley / Key Largo / Melancholy Lullaby / All Of Me / The Blessing / Echo Of My Dream / Other Times / Fable Of A Fool / South Side Samba / All About You

Last year we celebrated the centenary of the birth of a truly unique figure in jazz , Bennett Lester Carter, and this album is a fine way to commemorate his enduring talents. Evening Star is the label Benny Carter helped found in 1992. Ed Berger who, with his father, the late Morroe Berger, documented Benny's remarkable life and career in the definitive 2-volume Benny Carter: A Life In American Music and assisted Benny with many projects in the autumn of his career, has lovingly produced this remarkable CD. As Ed points out in his detailed notes:

'The purpose of this project is not re-creation , a process Carter assiduously avoided. Although this recording revisits a couple of Carter's classic melodies and two of his arrangements, it concentrates on his later pieces -some never recorded. Carter retired from public performance in 1998 but he never stopped creating music...his compositions, no matter what the era, have a timeless quality that comes through in the diverse treatments presented here'.

It's such a delicious cornucopia that one hardly knows how to begin to assess its contents. Suffice to say that the nucleus of the music is provided by Benny's last rhythm section led by accomplished pianist Chris Neville, who became Benny's close musical confidant from the late 80s, and bassist Steve LaSpina and drummer Steve Johns who both toured regularly with the great man in his final years. Carter's classic 30s piece I'm In The Mood For Swing is given a new lease of life, taken at a bouncing gait, allowing Randy Sandke and Warren Vaché to exchange some scintillating trumpet licks. …

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