Saxophone Master James Carter Releases Blue Note Debut 'James Carter Organ Trio: Live From Newport Jazz'
Saxophone master James Carter has released his Blue Note Records debut James Carter Organ Trio: Live From Newport Jazz, a thrilling live performance of Carter's imaginative soul jazz reinvention of Django Reinhardt that was captured at the 2018 Newport Jazz Festival. Joining Carter are two fellow Detroit sons: Hammond B-3 virtuoso Gerard Gibbs and versatile young drummer Alexander White. Carter's first new release since 2011 is a soulfully robust dispatch from America's most storied jazz festival that is a follow-up of sorts to Chasin' the Gypsy, an Atlantic release from 2000 that The New Yorker called "an alternately reverent and audacious tribute to the Belgian swing-guitar legend Django Reinhardt. It may be the rambunctious saxophone player's recorded masterpiece."
"It's compact and soulful," Carter says, explaining why he digs an organ trio's chemistry so deeply. From jazz radio to neighborhood cookouts, growing up in Detroit meant plenty of Blue Note B-3 grooves, he reflects. "[That sound was] always in the background," Carter says. "You'd hear Jimmy Smith while somebody's passing the baked beans and the ribs and all that other good stuff. The organ has always been a part of the African-American Diaspora," he continues, "coming up through the spirituals and on into soul, neo-soul. It's always been an integral part of the soulful landscape."
Although Carter has been among the most celebrated jazz figures of his generation, recording for major labels, headlining landmark venues and topping polls in DownBeat, he sounds humbled by his relationship with jazz's most iconic brand. "Oh man," he begins. "As the label puts it, 'The Finest in Jazz Since 1939.' There's history, legacy and longevity that goes with this label, and to be part of that in some fashion or form is a privilege and an honor."
In addition to their own tour dates this Fall in the U.S. & Europe, the James Carter Organ Trio will be part of a triple-bill of current Blue Note artists along with Kandace Springs and James Francies that will tour the U.S. this November in celebration of the 80th Anniversary of Blue Note Records.
Listen to the new release below.
JAMES CARTER ORGAN TRIO TOUR DATES:
Sept. 26-29 - Keystone Korner - Baltimore, MD
Oct. 17 - Porgy & Bess - Vienna, Austria
Oct. 18 - Krokus Jazz Festival - Jelenia Góra, Poland
Oct. 19 - Zig Zag Jazz Club - Berlin, Germany
Oct. 22 - Budapest Jazz Club - Budapest, Hungary
Oct. 24 - LantarenVenster - Rotterdam, Netherlands
Oct. 25 - Bimhuis - Amsterdam, Netherlands
BLUE NOTE RECORDS 80th ANNIVERSARY TOUR:
Nov. 2 - Da Camera @ Wortham Theater Center - Houston, TX
Nov. 3 - Tilles Center for Performing Arts - Greenvale, NY
Nov. 6 - State Theatre New Jersey - New Brunswick, NJ
Nov. 7 - Shalin Liu Performance Center - Rockport, MA
Nov. 8 - Grand Opera House - Wilmington, DE
Nov. 10 - McAninch Arts Center - Glen Ellyn, IL
Nov. 11 - City Winery Nashville - Nashville, TN
Nov. 12 - Victoria Theatre - Dayton, OH
Nov. 13 - Gill & Tommy LiPuma Center for Creative Arts - Cleveland, OH
Nov. 14 - Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center - The Villages, FL
Nov. 15 - Farmington Civic Center - Farmington, NM
Nov. 16 - Tempe Center for the Arts - Tempe, AZ
Nov. 19 - Harris Center for the Arts - Folsom, CA
Nov. 21 - Moore Theatre - Seattle, WA
Photo credit: Pierre-Yves Salique