Layin' in the Cut

Layin' in the Cut

by James Carter
     
 

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On the electrified LAYIN' IN THE CUT, James Carter plays the blues, framing his ultra-expressionist sound with a blanket of amplified strings. The 30-something sax virtuoso leads guitarists Jef Lee Johnson and Marc Ribot, electric bassman extraordinaire Jamaladeen Tacuma, and powerhouse beatmaster

Overview

On the electrified LAYIN' IN THE CUT, James Carter plays the blues, framing his ultra-expressionist sound with a blanket of amplified strings. The 30-something sax virtuoso leads guitarists Jef Lee Johnson and Marc Ribot, electric bassman extraordinaire Jamaladeen Tacuma, and powerhouse beatmaster Calvin Weston through a set of seven oringals with strong melodies that grant each all-star protagonist sufficient room for stretching-out. Deploying the soprano, tenor and bass saxophones, Carter accesses references that span the urbanized Delta blues ("Requiem For Hartford Avenue") to Maceonian funk ("Motown Mash") to Ornetteish harmolodic high-stepping ("Terminal B") to Aylerian freakout ("There's A Paddle"), playing with uncaged freedom in a spirit where technique unfailingly suits the moment's function. While on some previous sessions Carter seemed to be playing in a vacuum, here his spectacular declamations spur ensemble flow; that he's fully his own man was never more evident than on the quietstorm urgent "Drafadelic In D-Flat," on which he takes his place among the exclusive lineage of tenor saxophone masters who've conjured a voice unmistakably theirs through mastery of blues expression.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richard S. Ginell
The second of James Carter's pair of 2000 releases shifts wildly, and perhaps trendily, toward electric funk, as the title cut proclaims within seconds. It's really a loose, collective electric jam session with all of the risks, occasional hot streaks, and passages of torpor that the term implies. Oddly enough, the tracks that really make it are those that are credited to only one composer: guitarist Jef Lee Johnson's stimulating Prime Time-like melee, "Terminal 8," that gathers momentum like a freight train; Carter's cooking "There's a Puddle" that explodes into a freeform burst on cue at the end; and Carter's "GP." The collectively credited pieces are the ones that tend to go nowhere, often desperately in need of editing or clear direction. At all times, though, Carter is a freewheeling dynamo on soprano and tenor saxes, not afraid to reach wildly to the outside even when the funk backgrounds are merely mild mannered. Carter draws from the New York City avant-garde scene for help: Marc Ribot is the other electric guitarist, Jamaaladeen Tacuma plays bass, and the volatile drummer G. Calvin Weston tries with partial success to mix things up. Carter says that he intends to pursue this direction in the future -- with hopefully less diffuse results.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/06/2000
Label:
Atlantic Mod Afw
UPC:
0075678330520
catalogNumber:
83305
Rank:
150478

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