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Ron Carter's Great Big Band

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Carter says the big-band album was more accidental than intentional. Having done every conceivable recording under my name, the only project I hadn t done was leading a big band.

Wendy likes the way Bob writes and asked him to do a project featuring his arrangements. Once he agreed, he asked me to be a part of it. I figured, hey, I ll give it a shot. Recalling Carter signing on to the venture, Freedman says, Ron was up to it and into it. He was eager in his own reserved way.

As it turns out, Carter and co. provided the endeavor with an absolute commitment to musical sublimity. The 17-piece band, with the bassist serving as the rhythmic rudder with his steady, warm-toned pulse and Freedman leading as the conductor, delivers a vibrant outing of 13 tunes.

Ron took on the role of bass player/leader as though he d been doing it forever, says Freedman, who over the years has written arrangements of songs for many of Carter s recordings.

Assembling the band for this date was a joint effort by Carter and Freedman. The bassist insisted on using two of his frequent rhythm mates, pianist Mulgrew Miller and drummer Lewis Nash.

As for the horn sections, Carter suggested designating section leaders who would then fill in the rest of the musicians needed for the section. For woodwinds, alto and soprano saxophonist Jerry Dodgion was enlisted. He, in turn, called on Steve Wilson for second alto, Wayne Escoffery and Scott Robinson on tenor saxophones, Jay Brandford on baritone saxophone and English horn player Charles Pillow. Trombonist Jason Jackson filled the four- bone section with Steve Davis, James Burton III and Douglas Purviance, and trumpeter Tony Kadleck manned his section with fellow trumpeters Greg Gisbert, Jon Owens and Alex Norris.

The creation of the songbook for the band was another joint effort, with Freedman and Carter bringing to the table music that the latter says would be what people who like big bands would like to hear.
Ron Carter's Great Big Band was recorded in June 2010. Arrangements by Grammy-winning arranger Robert M. Freedman were commissioned for this recording by Somerled. Recorded at Avatar Studios by Jim Anderson.


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Last modified on Sunday, 21 September 2014 09:26