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James Carter: Chasin’ the Gypsy

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Just when you had him pegged as a rip-snorting tenor and bari monster with a wicked penchant for ferocious overblowing, he comes across as a shameless romantic on Chasin’ the Gypsy, his lovely ode to Django. Still, Carter’s characteristic bravado, tenor squeals, trills and remarkable displays of multiphonics are still intact here, even in the lush setting of “The Last Shepherdess” and “Django’s Castle.” Carter nicely grafts his own sense of swagger onto Django’s swing-era aesthetic on “Heavy Artillery,” which features some very frisky exchanges between Regina Carter’s Joe Venuti/Stuff Smith-styled violin

and Carter’s blowtorch bass sax. The two also joyously unite on the lithe title track, a giddy homage that has Carter soaring effortlessly on soprano sax while Jay Berliner and Romero Lubambo chunk appropriately behind him on guitars.

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