James Carter is back in town. One of the most admired saxophonists of his generation makes his debut with Present Tense, an album of uncompromising, swinging jazz. While it's music that has its roots in the jazz tradition, it's also forward looking. How else could it be, with players like Victor Lewis on drums, D. D. Jackson on piano and Dwight Adams on trumpet? asks Carter. The all-star cast, which also has James Genus on bass, includes guest appearances by Rodney Jones on guitar and Eli Fountain on percussion. The album is produced by Michael Cuscuna, who sensed a challenge to capture the sheer range of Carter's enormous talent and his mastery of jazz idiom, which he felt had not really been adequately represented on earlier albums.
From the Artist
"I titled this album Present Tense because it captures where I am right now," says Carter, who plays a trinity of saxophones (soprano, tenor and baritone), flute and bass clarinet. "This is what appeals to me right now. I've always had eclectic tastes, so the styles of these pieces are diverse. But I'm also dealing with more lyricism on this album, and I'm making more concise statements in the music versus playing out for 10 or 11 minutes. Some of the tunes here are in the four-minute range."