Monday, May 4, 2009

Happy Birthday Ron Carter!

Today is Ron Carter's 72nd birthday. I've always been a huge Ron Carter fan. I love his phrasing and his ability to choose notes and rhythms in a walking bass line that literally drive the line forward, embedding a song with an emotional foundation.

I recently read his biography (by Dan Ouellette). I've thought about writing a review of the book, but have avoided it. Overall, I liked the book, but the book never grabbed my like other biographies and autobiographies (e.g., those of Wayne Shorter, John Coltrane, Miles Davis). At times, the book painted Mr. Carter as a bit of a curmudgeon who feels slighted by his position in the jazz community. Many years ago I had the opportunity to see a masterclass by Mr. Carter and had a short conversation with him (maybe five minutes). The masterclass demonstrated his incredible technique and his desire to help others. In the conversation, he was friendly, kind and funny. The book tells a great story, but I felt it left out some of the story of Ron Carter. At times, the book seems like a laundry list of recordings and accomplishments, without telling the story of Ron.

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