Friday, May 20, 2011

James Carter – Caribbean Rhapsody (Emarcy, 2011)

Saxophonist James Carter is a master improviser on several instruments and this album places him in a concert setting with Giancarlo Guerrara and the Sinfonia Varsovia and the Akua Dixon string quintet playing two compositions by Roberto Sierra along with two extended Carter improvisations. Carter and Sierra worked together for a lengthy period of time and the results were a well integrated suite of music where Carter is featured but doesn’t overwhelm the music. “Concerto for Saxophones and Orchestra” and the title piece “Caribbean Rhapsody” are the featured pieces, and the latter is particularly impressive with the addition of Regina Carter on violin. In between the two larger pieces are solo features for Carter on two of his main horns “Tenor Interlude” and “Soprano Interlude.” It would be very interesting to hear Carter perform an all solo project sometime in the future, he certainly has the talent to pull it off. I have never been a big fan of the third stream jazz/classical crossover genre, but Carter plays very well throughout, and the music is classy and thoughtful. Caribbean Rhapsody - amazon.com

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