Tuesday, December 13, 2005

J.C. in bloom

Another James Carter CD I think deserves more attention is "Gardenias for Lady Day," Columbia. The tribute to Billie Holiday is pretty standard music, including "A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing" and "More Than You Know," but Carter renders it very much in a non-standard way.

He doesn't go on the free flights of, say, Archie Shepp leading into "In a Sentimental Mood" on "Live in San Francisco" or Sonny Rollins playing "Autumn Nocturne" on "Don't Stop the Carnival" (two pieces, in my view, of brilliant musical logic in the way they progress from there to here). J.C. toes closer to the line, but not on it, which I think may be harder to do in some respects.

John Hicks, there he goes again, on piano, Peter Washington on bass and Lewis Nash on drums do a great job in support, along with orchestral groups varying in composition. What Carter does with "Strange Fruit," given its history a tough one to pull off for anyone who isn't Billie Holiday, is not to be missed.

No comments: