Festival Internacional JAZZMADRID
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James Carter Organ Trío © Julian Von Schumann

James Carter Organ Trío

Oficial Concerts In collaboration with Festival de Jazz de Zaragoza

R 16 Nov
Fernán Gómez. Centro Cultural de la Villa
Sala Guirau · 20.00 h · How to get there
  • Reduced mobility
  • Magnetic loop

James Carter was born and grew up in Detroit fifty-four years ago. This multi-saxophonist made a spectacular debut when he was invited by Lester Bowie to play in his band at the city’s Institute of Arts in the spring of 1988. By the autumn of that same year, he was already playing in the quintet of that sorely missed trumpeter of the Art Ensemble of Chicago.

The moment to establish himself in New York came a couple of years later, and since then there has been a joyful consensus in recognising his prestige as a player and composer on the verge of excellence. In addition to his exhaustive knowledge of the jazz tradition, Carter has an astonishing capacity for melodic attack, and there is no nook or cranny of sound that he shies away from exploring. His tributes to Billie Holiday, Django Reinhardt and Eric Dolphy, as well as his re-readings of Lester Young, Bennie Moten and Coltrane, have long since earned him a well-deserved international reputation that has allowed him to join the ranks of the chosen few, where he has become a permanent fixture.

He has never lacked talent; a quarter of a century ago, the dazzling sonority of his phrasing and his lively and intelligent interventions began to attract the attention of a very restless audience, which today follows him unconditionally in any adventure he cares to undertake. It was around this time that he came to Spain for the first time, making it clear on the stage of the San Sebastian jazz festival, that if anyone was going to renew contemporary saxophone playing, it was going to be him. As time passes, he confirms, project after project, the certainty of that prediction.

The Organ Trio with which he is now visiting us, features a superb line-up of instrumentalists. Drummer Alex White is more than happy to add an intricate rhythmic architecture to his accompaniment, allowing his partners to follow wherever the whims of their sensibilities take them. Gerard Gibbs on Hammond B3 organ isn’t lacking in resources either: he comes up with a constant supply of them, each one technically effective. Watching and listening to him give shape to the band’s explosive funk rhythms, it’s impossible not to think that we’re in the presence of a musician who deserves a closer look, perhaps even a solo concert.

Thanks to this band, James Carter is sounding better than ever. As soon as he walks onto the stage, listening to him play is to listen to an affirmation of jazz as the art of the unpredictable. He can make the great music of fifty or sixty years ago come more alive than the popular hits of just fifteen years ago. And Carter and his bandmates know how to expand the musical space into the land of funk at its most raunchy.

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