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3, 4, 5 the Verve Small Group Sessions

5.0 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 25, 1991
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$39.99 $8.28

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  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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3:48
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2
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4:15
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3:37
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4
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5:37
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5
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4:09
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6
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4:02
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7
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4:58
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8
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2:57
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9
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2:45
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10
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3:52
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11
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3:36
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12
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3:24
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13
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3:38
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14
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3:22
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15
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4:34
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16
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3:57
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17
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4:04
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5:13
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 25, 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Polygram Records
  • ASIN: B0000047CL
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #243,223 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
Once again, Norman Granz 50's Verve label serves up a gathering of swing-era champions lead by the multi-faceted Benny Carter. This tasteful and swinging selection of standards features Carter on sax in a trio, quartet and quintet format. The tunes selected provide ample room for great solos backed by swinging rhythm sections in all formats. Carter was known for a lot of things - composing, arranging etc. - but these studio sessions remind us why he's one of the Jazz Giants to quote the title of one of his other releases. You'll play this one over and over without tiring of it.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
We lost a giant this week and this CD is all the proof you need. A fine collection of Benny Carter playing in trio, quartet and quintet settings accompanied by some of the finest swing and jazz artists. Carter's playing is always melodic and swinging while understated and subtle. On the trio tracks that kick this off Teddy Wilson's piano playing compliments Carter's alto perfectly and this section is my favorite. The entire set is priceless and really is a great repesentation of BC's talent and range. The tune selection is also wonderful. Highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD
Lord knows, Verve perpetrated a lot of string-laden pseudo-jazz over the years, but you have to hand it to Granz----he also released stuff like THIS. Here's two albums worth of relaxed, finely-wrought material on one superb CD; real value for your money. These well-produced small-group sessions prove (as if it needed proving!) what a great instrumentalist Benny Carter was and is. (He's also a great arranger and composer as well, but that's beside the point.) This is an album that sinks deep into your brain and bones, and you're better for it. Carter goes back well into the swing era, yet the feel here is quite boppish. As of this writing, he's still around, still swinging. Long may he continue to.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
BC, alto sax.
1-8. With Teddy Wilson, p, and Jo Jones, dr. 9-16. With Don Abney, p, George Duvivier, b, and Louis Bellson, dr. 17-19. With Oscar Peterson, p, Herb Ellis, guit, Ray Brown, b, Bobby White, dr.

This exceptionally strong album showcases Benny Carter, who should have been declared a National Treasure, and it does it without frills. That's a Good Thing when you have a player as strong and as inventive as Carter was. Carter, a masterful altoist and not much less talented trumpeter (he doesn't play trumpet here, just sax), continued to play eloquently up to his death at the age of 95 in 2003. Listening to him on these small group sessions, one is struck by the elegance of his tone, which is lyrical and smooth, matched only by fellow alto player Johnny Hodges. But one is struck too by the fluidity and inventiveness of his solo lines. Carter may not have played bop but he could phrase and move as flexibly as the great bop players could, and there is an architecture to his solos that makes them compelling listening.

The best cuts on this CD are the first eight trio sessions where Carter is matched with two players who truly were his equals -master pianist Teddy Wilson and master drummer Jo Jones. I grew into jazz in the earl fifties and the pianists I listened to then comped spare chords when they were accompanying a horn and played mostly strings of single notes when they soloed. What a pleasure it is to listen to Wilson's two-handed accompaniment behind Carter, which embraced full fleshed melody fragments and rhythm figures. Carter and Wilson obviously dug playing together. Jones plays well on brushes but so close is the rapport between Carter and Wilson that he is almost superfluous.
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By A Customer on August 17, 2003
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This wonderful disc could be the best of anyone's collection: it is excellent jazz, and yet is such fine art that it almost crosses over into art music--"classical."
The trio cuts of 1938 (nos. 1-8) were long hidden until the canny Japanese issued them with immaculate sound--thus showing their cognizance and appreciation of Western aesthetic matters. Just set "June in January" to repeat, and listen to it a few dozen times: Carter's exquisite alto timbre and melodic manipulations ease the electrochemical activity in the brain; Teddy Wilson's meditative piano solos calm the nerves while stimulating the soul; Jo Jones' heartbeat rhythms with brush on smooth snare and bass drums ease all tensions: this is over 4mins of delicious nepenthe.
The remainder of the tracks offer similar delights: some up-beat, some down-, this is Benny Carter at this best. One might call him, "the Coleman Hawkins of the alto." Parker and Stitt are great on alto: they bop hard; but Carter is so gentle and soulful that these lines rival the ambience of classical trio, quartet, and quintet ensembles.
The price $$ is a giveaway-bargain. Please do yourself a favor and get this disc for yourself; or, bless a friend and give it as a gift: they'll love it and think fondly of you!
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