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date: 17 November 2019

Carter, Jameslocked

  • Michael Fitzgerald


(b Detroit, MI, Jan 3, 1969). American jazz saxophonist, bandleader, and composer. He began playing at the age of 11 and soon displayed prodigious technique. He studied with Donald Washington and attended Blue Lake and Interlochen camps as a teenager. In 1990 he moved to New York, where he recorded with Lester Bowie, Frank Lowe, and Julius Hemphill. He formed his own quartet in 1993 with Craig Taborn, Jaribu Shahid, and Tani Tabbal and made his first recordings as a leader for DIW, issued by Columbia. He joined the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra the following year. Subsequently, Carter was signed by Atlantic and received considerable promotion. He appeared in the Robert Altman film Kansas City (1995).

Early in his career Carter won the endorsement of both Wynton Marsalis and Lester Bowie and attracted attention as a young artist who unsually, rather than focusing on 1950s and 60s models, was interested in the style and repertoire of both the avant garde and 1930s swing musicians such as Don Byas and John Hardee. Playing saxophones ranging from sopranino to bass as well as various clarinets, he frequently makes use of extended techniques such as multiphonics and the altissimo register. His seemingly effortless virtuosity has led to some criticism that he presents more flash than substance....

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Jazz Times (Washington, 1980-)
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