Saturday, August 17, 2013

John Carter and Bobby Bradford Quartet - Flight For Four (Flying Dutchman: 1969, International Phonograph, 2013)

This is another fine entry is a series curated by the International Phonograph label that brings music needed attention to underappreciated recordings. Originally released on the Flying Dutchman label, The band was composed of John Carter on clarinet and tenor saxophone, Bobby Bradford on trumpet, Tom Williamson on bass and Buzz Freeman on drums. "Call To The Fastival" has a fast Ornettish beginning that mellows out as bass and drums shimmer under punchy trumpet. Bradford gets an excellent feature nudged along with savvy accompaniment. Although he is most well known for his clarinet playing, John Carter was also an excellent tenor saxophonist. Here he is fast and juking, like a tailback running for daylight as he builds dynamically to a furious solo. Harmonized horns usher in "The Second Set" playing in a quicksilver fashion over locked in bass and drums. Bradford's trumpet ripples with muscle, making way for a well played drum solo before the full band returns to complete the tune. "Woman" slows the pace of the music as trumpet and bass come in together in a moody fashion and the drums ease in completing an abstract opening. The open feel allows trumpet and bass to converse unhindered. A circular pattern develops on "Abstractions For Three Lovers" building tension amidst bowed bass and skittish cymbals. Bradford's powerful trumpet cuts through like a lance, followed by blues tinged saxophone supported by subtle brushes. "Domino" develops around nervous and anxious drumming, featuring Carter building a brawny saxophone feature, duking it out with Freeman's drumming. Bradford then is supported by Williamson's excellent bass playing for his own feature. This was an excellent band that recorded several albums in the 60's that have been collected in a Mosaic Select set. This album is packaged beautifully in a replica LP sleeve that contains the original liner notes and a new essay. Flight For Four -

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