Saturday, January 01, 2011

John Carter - Bobby Bradford Quartet - Seeking (HatArt 1969, 2001)

Clarinetist and saxophonist John Carter and trumpeter Bobby Bradford led an excellent free-bop band in the vein of Ornette Coleman's pianoless quartet during the late 60's and 70's. Much of this material has been released on a recent Mosaic Select but this review comes from a HatArt reissue of this early album I found in the used bin at the Princeton Record Exchange. Joined by Tom Williamson on bass and Bruz Freeman on drums, the band called themselves The New Jazz Art Ensemble at the time and recorded this album in 1969. "In the Vineyard" and the "The Village Dancers" are very exciting uptempo performances, with the band improvising collectively very well, and Carter and Bradford soloing with great strength and power. "Karen On Monday" is a very interesting sound-painting, spacious and well paced and featuring a potent yet well controlled trumpet solo. John Carter breaks out the flute on the title track "Seeking" with the flute and bass coupling with light percussion to create an open and poignant performance. "Song For The Unsung"ends the album with an open ended mid-tempo performance. This was a consistently good and interesting album. The band uses the innovations of Ornette Coleman as a basis for their own unique improvisations that remain fresh and exciting. Seeking -

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