New Jazz Album has Vaudeville, Hip-Hop Influences

James Carter

hide captionJames Carter's new album, Present Tense, takes some cues from vaudeville and hip-hop sounds.

STR/AFP/Getty Images

Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews Present Tense, the new album by saxophonist James Carter. On tenor, baritone and soprano sax, Carter touches on influences as diverse as vaudeville and hip-hop.

Carter's early influences included tenor saxophonist Carlos Wesley Byas. Byas played a bebop-style jazz with the likes of legendary jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie. Taping Byas' tunes from the radio, Carter developed his own jazz blend while paying homage to Byas, for whom he has "mad respect."

Present Tense is Carter's ninth album. He has also recorded dozens of tracks with other jazz artists.

Purchase Featured Music

Present Tense

Purchase Music


Purchase Featured Music

  • Album: Present Tense
  • Artist: James Carter



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.