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Ron Carter


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I've passed on many of Carter's leader dates because, well, I've just never been overly impressed with too many of them. They seldom get repeated play; I don't really know why- they seem to me to often be very "studio-self conscious" and not particularly inspiring or spontaneous. You'd think that anyone who came out of one of the greatest Miles bands could be a sure thing as a leader, but for me, Carter is most effective as a sideman, a supporting player; no disrespect intended. It really has nothing to do w/him being a bass player-leader, and he often has great players on his sides (like Chet Baker, Art Farmer and J.J., to name a few). I do also like the duets w/Jim Hall. I recognize his high level of musicianship, I just don't run out to buy his new recordings. I would rate his post-Miles work as the least compelling of all the 60s band members (meaning WS, HH and TW).

So regarding Ron Carter: am I missing something?

Edited by Free For All
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It's a very pretty album, but is frankly unexciting to the point of dullness. It's the sound of someone resting on his laurels--can't blame him, but I can't say that's what I like to listen to. There's yet another jazz version of the 2nd movement of Rodrigo's "Concierto de Aranjuez", if that turns your crank. There's a placid version of "Autumn Leaves" too, on which Carter is fairly unrecognizable as the work of the man who was there when Miles performed some of his most tempestuous readings of that tune.

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From what I've heard on KNTU, it's good, but you could go your entire life never hearing it and it wouldn't be any different than if you did.

The only Carter sides I've made it a point to pick up are the two w/Joe Henderson (ALL BLUES on CTI & PARADE one Milestone) & UPTOWN CONVERSATION on Embryo. His BN thing w/Golson, (STARDUST, was it?) was pretty good too. Not GREAT, but pretty good.

Hate to pick on the guy, his playing speaks for itself. That's his blessing and his curse, I suppose, depending on which album you hear...

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This disc has grown on me with repeated listenings. I'm not the biggest fan of drummerless ensembles, but this one turns out to be very nice. Like Nate said, it's a pretty album - though I don't know if I'd go so far as to say it's dull. On the other hand, I'm sitting here trying to come up with a better descriptor and the best I can come up with is lackluster. On the one hand, there isn't anything here that cries out - "you must hear this record" On the other hand, if you see it at a good price, I don't think you'll be disappointed if you enjoy the work of any of the artists involved.

Maybe Jim said it best -

it's good, but you could go your entire life never hearing it and it wouldn't be any different than if you did.
Edited by Ed Swinnich
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  • 4 weeks later...

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