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Layin' In The Cut

15 customer reviews

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Audio CD, November 10, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Layin' In The Cut by James Carter

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The collective electric improvisations that make up Layin' in the Cut showcase the intrepid, high-wire quality of James Carter's free jazz/super-bop side, much as the romantic acoustic arrangements of sibling release Chasin' the Gypsy focus on the saxophonist's lyrical talents. Drummer Grant Calvin Weston and electric bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma afford Carter a loose yet deeply centered rhythmic focus upon which to conceive a postmodern bridge between hard funk and modern jazz. While swing is clearly a second language here (the coda to "There's a Paddle" being an energetic example), wherever Carter dares to tread, he matches his ferocious energy with his band's grace and power--especially on the title cut and "Motown Mash."

Electric guitarists Marc Ribot and Jef Lee Johnson confer an open-ended brand of melodic fluidity and timbral flexibility, enabling the saxophonist to split the difference between John Coltrane and Jimi Hendrix, as on "Requiem for Hartford Ave."--Ribot's pensive classical-styled intro and Johnson's bluesy retorts inspire alternating serene and shrieking soprano phrases. On "Terminal B," a trademark Tacuma-Weston harmolodic march leads to a psychedelic free-for-all. Their most amiable radio-friendly collective work comes on "GP," with Ribot's Wes Montgomery-styled inflections gently framing Carter's lyric tenor in Latin raiment. And from his wailing ascent up the scale on "There's a Paddle" to his gorgeous gospel-blues inflections on "Drafadelic in D Flat," Carter's unbridled tenor work is deeply compelling. While these arrangements rarely venture out of the straight vamp mode into the more harmonically expansive vistas of, say, Sam Rivers's big-band jazz-funk (try Inspiration or Culmination), Carter's potential for growth is unmistakable. --Chip Stern


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 10, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Atlantic
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • ASIN: B00004TJ94
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #238,902 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Michael Javier on December 21, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Just when you thought fusion jazz had run out of steam, along comes the irrepressible James Carter breathing new life into the tired old genre. This is the best jazz in a fusion vein I have encountered since Miles did Jack Johnson way back in 1970. Carter blows hard and heavy on seven funkified tracks with the able accompanyment of Jef Lee Johnson and Marc Ribot on electric guitars, G. Calvin Weston on drums, and the nearly forgotten wondrous Jamaaladeen Tacuma on electric bass. Released in 2000 simultaneously with his Chasin' The Gypsy cd, Carter again showed how wonderfully eclectic he is. In an era when music is increasingly of the cookie cutter variety, Carter refuses to be restricted and is ubiquitous in his range of musical expression. Five stars to the most distinct and emphatic voice in modern jazz today for this top notch offering of classic jazz fusion.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Autonomeus TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 22, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This is a fine funky album on its own terms, but one that fails to live up to its potential. With the amazing 2-guitar line-up I was expecting harmolodic fireworks, but instead found a surprisingly low-key set. Here are the band's harmolodic credentials: Tacuma played in Ornette's original Prime Time band, Weston played with a late Eighties version of same, Johnson has been a member of Ronald Shannon Jackson's Decoding Society through the Nineties -- Jackson the original Prime Time drummer -- and, Carter played on Jackson's WHAT SPIRIT SAY, released by DIW.

This project is an odd combination -- from the cover photo you might expect a smooth Grover Washington Jr.-style groove, but you'd be wrong -- its' a little too wild for that. But it never rises up in wild abandon either -- Ribot and Johnson are never unleashed. (Chip Stern to the contrary, there is nothing remotely boppish here, let alone "super-boppish," and nothing that sounds like Hendrix either.)

Carter plays bari on "Motown," and soprano on "Requiem" and "Terminal B," otherwise sticking to tenor. His playing is engaging, but more subdued than we've come to expect, most recently on the superb "In Carterian Fashion." Johnson's "Terminal B" is the track that sounds most harmolodic -- a Decoding Society shuffle. Carter's "Paddle" also gets up out of the groove.

But the best tracks are laid-back, smoky grooves -- "Requiem" and "Drafadelic." That turns out to be the forte of this set. As long as you realize that, and are prepared for the first and last tracks being the weakest, you can appreciate this for what it is.

Not bad, but a missed opportunity for something much better.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Nathan Cross on June 6, 2000
Format: Audio CD
At this very moment I am listening to this brand new James Carter album. I will admit that I haven't had too much experience with Carter, but I do love his album "In Carterian Fashion." But my god, when I saw this lineup I could not pass it up...Marc Ribot, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Calvin Weston, and Jef Lee Johnson! An amazing electric album, and Carter fits in so well. The ideas are simple, yet these guys take the simple and turn it into some amazing improvisational output. Ribot sounds outstanding, he gets better every time I hear him! And overall this album is just superb if you dig improvisational groove...nowhere does the album get boring, it is constantly fresh, moving and inventive.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lance Boils on July 31, 2000
Format: Audio CD
People are always telling me that joshua redman is the best young hornman around. Please! Listen to this CD and get back to me. Mr. Carter just put out two CD's, although quantity isn't the remarkable thing about it. One CD is a tribute to Django...by a sax player....and yes, he pulls it off ( go buy it, its called Chasin the Gypsy). That's how damn good he can blow. This may be the best jazz album you hear in a long time. It's jazz-fusion-harmolodic-blues-freeimprov that can't be stopped. He's got some incredible sidemen that turn in some great performances. Weston/Tacuma take up the drums/bass, and you've got two guitars with Ribot/Johnson. Ribot has never sounded more fleet fingered and Johnson more assure. Weston is a former Ulmer drummer and Tacuma played with Ornette. James Carter can blow like noone else. What can't this guy do? He might just be the most talented,gifted musician of the current age. This is a great jazz CD if you like funky,bluesy,harmolodic,freejazz by one great group of musicians. Also/Otherwise checkout, Jurassic Classics, or In Carterian fashion, or Conversin with the elders, or Chasin the Gyspsy, or the real quietstorm....you won't regret it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nathan Cross on June 6, 2000
Format: Audio CD
At this very moment I am listening to this brand new James Carter album. I will admit that I haven't had too much experience with Carter, but I do love his album "In Carterian Fashion." But my god, when I saw this lineup I could not pass it up...Marc Ribot, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Calvin Weston, and Jef Lee Johnson! An amazing electric album, and Carter fits in so well. The ideas are simple, yet these guys take the simple and turn it into some amazing improvisational output. Ribot sounds outstanding, he gets better every time I hear him! And overall this album is just superb if you dig improvisational groove...nowhere does the album get boring, it is constantly fresh, moving and inventive.
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