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James Carter to Play With Aretha Franklin

Keeping it real in their hometown of Detroit, saxophonist James Carter (pictured left) and Soul Queen Aretha Franklin are set to record every note of Carter’s upcoming three-night stint at Baker’s Keyboard Lounge. The recordings will be used to compile a new album, James Carter’s Detroit Breakdown, set for an October release on Atlantic. Franklin will be the most easily recognized of Carter’s musical guests, but saxophonists Johnny Griffin, David Murray and Franz Jackson will make guest appearances as well, along with several local musicians.

The concerts, to be held June 14-16, will give Carter a chance to display his chops on home turf. “It’s an homage to what happens live when I’m in Detroit,” Carter said recently in the Detroit Free Press. “I want to let folks know that this is where I come from and that there’s still the jazz spirit here.”

Lately, Carter’s talents have gotten him a fair amount of press with profiles popping up in Rolling Stone and Time Out New York. At 31, he has already played with a number of jazz stars including Wynton Marsalis, the late Lester Bowie, Julius Hemphill and Betty Carter. Still, Carter’s most famous collaborator is Franklin, whom he met at a benefit concert in Detroit last year. He has since played at Franklin’s Christmas party and appeared as a guest musician on her VH1 Divas Live concert. This summer, Carter will share a double bill with saxophonist Maceo Parker in Montreal.

Carter’s live recording at Baker’s Keyboard Lounge is set for 8 p.m. June 14 and 9:30 p.m. June 15 and 16. Tickets are $20. For more information, call 313-345-6300.

Originally Published