James Carter Quartet

James Carter (musician)

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James Carter (musician)

James Carter (born January 3, 1969) is an American jazz musician.


Carter was born in Detroit, Michigan, and learned to play under the tutelage of Donald Washington, becoming a member of his youth jazz ensemble Bird-Trane-Sco-NOW!! As a young man, Carter attended Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, becoming the youngest faculty member at the camp. He first toured Europe (Scandinavia) with the International Jazz Band in 1985 at the age of 16.

On May 31, 1988, at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), Carter was a last-minute addition for guest artist Lester Bowie, which turned into an invitation to play with his new quintet (forerunner of his New York Organ Ensemble) in New York that following November at the now defunct Carlos 1 jazz club. This NY invite was pivotal in Carter's career, putting him in musical contact with the world, and he moved to New York two years later. He has been prominent as a performer and recording artist on the jazz scene since the late 1980s, playing saxophones, flute, and clarinets.

On his album Chasin' the Gypsy (2000), he recorded with his cousin Regina Carter, a jazz violinist.

Carter has won Down Beat magazine's Critics and Readers Choice award for baritone saxophone several years in a row. He has performed, toured and played on albums with Lester Bowie, Julius Hemphill, Frank Lowe & the Saxemble, Kathleen Battle, the World Saxophone Quartet, Cyrus Chestnut, Wynton Marsalis, Dee Dee Bridgewater and the Mingus Big Band.[1]

Carter is an authority on vintage horns, and he owns an extensive collection of them.[2]


  • 1991: Tough Young Tenors: Alone Together
  • 1994: J.C. on the Set
  • 1995: Jurassic Classics
  • 1995: The Real Quietstorm
  • 1995: Duets (with Cyrus Chestnut)
  • 1996: Conversin' with the Elders
  • 1998: In Carterian Fashion
  • 2000: Layin' in the Cut
  • 2000: Chasin' the Gypsy
  • 2003: Gardenias for Lady Day
  • 2004: Live at Baker's Keyboard Lounge (with David Murray, Franz Jackson and Johnny Griffin)[3]
  • 2005: Out of Nowhere
  • 2005: Gold Sounds (Tribute to Pavement with Cyrus Chestnut, Ali Jackson & Reginald Veal )
  • 2008: Present Tense
  • 2009: Heaven on Earth (with John Medeski, Christian McBride, Adam Rogers & Joey Baron)
  • 2009: Skratyology (with De Nazaaten)
  • 2011: Caribbean Rhapsody[4]
  • 2011: At the Crossroads


  1. "Biography", jamescarterlive.com
  2. Stern, Chip "Jazz Instruments: James Carter blows through saxophone history", Jazz Times (June 2000).
  3. Kelsey, Chris, "Jazz Reviews: Live at Baker's Keyboard Lounge", Jazz Times (June 2004).
  4. Four-star review by John Fordham, The Guardian, July 21, 2011.

External links

  • Official Website
  • P. Mauriat Artist Profile Page
  • High kicks and belly blows — article (with photos) by Tony Gieske
  • James Carter — biography from American International Artists
  • MusicMatch Guide
  • Concert review
  • Photographed live at Jazz Alley — photos by Bruce C. Moore
  • Edutain-The James Carter Discography
  • James Carter Interview (with Alexander Mclean) at allaboutjazz.com
  • James Carter Organ Trio review, Bimhuis Amsterdam, in Dutch, with photos by Julia Free
  • Review of At the Crossroads CD
  • "The James Carter Interview" by Marissa Dodge, Jazz History Online.
  • Kelly Bucheger, "James Carter Ruined My Life", Harder Bop, April 12, 2011.

This page was last modified 09.12.2013 03:28:54

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