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Live Review: 2019 Detroit Jazz Festival

“Reunion” was the watchword for the 40th annual Detroit Jazz Festival, which welcomed back five of its former artists-in-residence for the occasion. But one unwelcome reunion threatened the fest’s culminating performance on Labor Day, as storm clouds once again gathered prior to Stanley Clarke’s final set—as they had in both 2014 and 2017, when the … Read More “Live Review: 2019 Detroit Jazz Festival”

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Houston Person & Ron Carter: Remember Love (HighNote)

The phrase “age before beauty” does not apply to the duet partnership of tenor saxophonist Houston Person and acoustic bassist Ron Carter. Sure, Remember Love is the first of their six pairings on record to occur when both are octogenarians. Yes, seven of the eight covers are more than 65 years old, and the other, … Read More “Houston Person & Ron Carter: Remember Love (HighNote)”

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Emmet Cohen: Masters Legacy Series, Vol. 2 Featuring Ron Carter (Cellar Live)

Emmet Cohen knows he still has a lot to learn and, accordingly, the pianist—a former prodigy still under 30—surrounds himself with those who can teach him. This new trio recording features bass totem Ron Carter, 81, and follows a similar session that spotlighted drummer Jimmy Cobb, another octogenarian. Cohen, who’s already got a shelf’s worth … Read More “Emmet Cohen: Masters Legacy Series, Vol. 2 Featuring Ron Carter (Cellar Live)”

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New Orleans Celebrates Itself at Jazz Fest

At an event before the 49th New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, producer Quint Davis announced that Jazz Fest would not be focusing on a particular country as part of its booking theme this year. In honor of the city’s tricentennial, he said, “New Orleans is the country we’re celebrating.” Given the obsessively self-referential culture … Read More “New Orleans Celebrates Itself at Jazz Fest”

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Ron Carter Quartet & Victoria Maldonado: Brasil L.I.K.E.

Ron Carter shares top billing here with the Brazilian vocalist Vitoria Maldonado, but for all of Carter’s bass skills and his undeniable legacy, he and his quartet-pianist Renee Rosnes, drummer Payton Crossley and percussionist Rolando Morales-Matos-are purely in support mode. This is Maldonado’s moment. Originally from São Paulo, Maldonado studied at Berklee before returning to … Read More “Ron Carter Quartet & Victoria Maldonado: Brasil L.I.K.E.”

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Houston Person & Ron Carter: Chemistry

For the fifth time in a quarter-century, these two distinguished veterans have joined forces for a sax/bass duets album. What you get is pretty much what you’d expect: A menu of standards, served with reliable skill and unpretentious style, provides the setting for the latest installment of an ongoing, wide-ranging chat between old friends. Person’s … Read More “Houston Person & Ron Carter: Chemistry”

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Ron Carter and the WDR Big Band: My Personal Songbook

Ron Carter has been one of the most prolific musicians in jazz for more than 50 years, working within nearly every conceivable configuration (his press bio says he’s appeared on 2,500 recordings). But, for whatever reason, the big-band format had largely evaded him until recent years. The release of Ron Carter’s Great Big Band (Sunnyside) … Read More “Ron Carter and the WDR Big Band: My Personal Songbook”

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Donald Harrison, Ron Carter, Billy Cobham: This Is Jazz

This Is Jazz is the most consistently enjoyable of the three albums Donald Harrison has recorded with bassist Ron Carter and drummer Billy Cobham. Alto saxophonist Harrison, a standout player in settings ranging from the Jazz Messengers to his own neo-bop outfits to his Mardi Gras Indian bands, has rarely sounded as free and forceful … Read More “Donald Harrison, Ron Carter, Billy Cobham: This Is Jazz”

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