James Carter resists category. He plays the tenor, baritone and soprano saxes, plus the flute and bass clarinet. He clearly aligns himself with classic jazz, though his output is so varied that you couldn't possibly call him conservative. Perhaps it's best to say that he's a fiery, obvious talent whose musical imagination spans all of jazz history at once.
In playing Newport, Carter calls upon an old instrumentation: the trio with Hammond B-3 organ and drums. It gives him the down-home feel of resonant organ chords and walking bass; it also sets him up to construct solos to screaming and honking climaxes, as is his occasional wont. With fellow Detroit natives Gerard Gibbs on organ and Leonard King on drums, he'll take the Harbor stage on Sunday afternoon of George Wein's Jazz Festival 55.
"Walking The Dog"
"My Whole Life Through"
"JC on the Set"