When Lights Are Low [Living Era]

When Lights Are Low [Living Era]

by Benny Carter


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When Lights Are Low [Living Era]

This chronologically precise double-disc tribute to multi-instrumentalist Benny Carter is one of the very best compilations in the entire Living Era catalog. With loving attention to detail, 51 carefully chosen selections are backed up with concise discographical references to Carter's solos and accompaniments, using a sort of shorthand to specify which instruments he played on each track and even indicating the bar length of each solo. Disc one opens with Carter's most famous composition, "When Lights Are Low," recorded in London in 1936 by his Swing Octet with Elisabeth Welch singing Spencer Williams' lyrics. The next 50 tracks are arranged in exact chronological order. This allows the listener to trace Carter's professional progress step-by-step all the way up through his marvelous small-group sessions with Norman Granz in 1952. The producers elected to skip over Carter's early work with Charlie Johnson's Paradise Ten and focused instead upon his 32-bar solo on "I'd Love It," recorded by McKinney's Cotton Pickers in 1929 with Fats Waller at the piano. This is followed by a magnificent rendition of Waller's sunny opus "Keep a Song in Your Soul" played by the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra in 1930. The rest of this early period in Carter's career is represented by one of his first sessions as a leader and several ensembles encumbered with what seem in retrospect to be racially coded names: Spike Hughes and His Negro Orchestra and that mercurial jam band with constantly-changing personnel billed as the Chocolate Dandies. Carter's adventures in Europe from 1936 to 1938 are well-documented by the records he made in London, Paris, and The Hague, with bands led by himself, Willie Lewis and Coleman Hawkins. Disc two finds Carter easing back into the thriving jazz scene in New York; sitting in with Lionel Hampton in 1938, and leading various ensembles under his own name (except for two more editions of the Chocolate Dandies) during the first half of the '40s. "Melancholy Lullaby," recorded for the Vocalion label in 1939, became the Carter Orchestra's signature tune. Highlights from this part of the Benny Carter story include Billie Holiday's gorgeous version of the "St. Louis Blues"; a rosy rendering of Jule Styne's "Sunday" and Carter's suave big band recording of "Poinciana," a number eight R&B hit (and a number 11 pop hit) recorded in San Francisco in October of 1943. Benny Carter's early maturity found him adapting marvelously to currents in modern music. Evidence of this hale and hearty resilience is provided by Carter's own "Riffamarole," recorded in Los Angeles in March of 1945 by the Capitol International Jazzmen; his ultra-luxurious "Malibu" waxed a few weeks later, and the racing swingy-boppish "Jump Call" recorded for V-Disc the following year along with a lushly rhapsodic arrangement of Duke Ellington's "Prelude to a Kiss." Perhaps the toughest Chocolate Dandies of all came together in 1946 to cook like mad on "Sweet Georgia Brown" and the ferocious "Cadillac Slim," a jam tune composed by Ben Webster and bearing an uncanny resemblance to Billy Strayhorn's "Rain Check." Four immaculate interpretations of jazz standards recorded in collaboration with producer Norman Granz in 1952 form the perfect conclusion for this exceptionally fine tribute to Benny Carter and to jazz in general.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/27/2004
Label: Asv Living Era
UPC: 0743625027624
catalogNumber: 276

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Benny Carter   Primary Artist,Trumpet,Alto Saxophone
Buster Bailey   Clarinet
Chu Berry   Tenor Saxophone
Buck Clayton   Trumpet
Miles Davis   Trumpet
Sidney DeParis   Trumpet
Roy Eldridge   Trumpet
Stéphane Grappelli   Piano
Grey   Trombone
Lionel Hampton   Vibes
Ted Heath   Trombone
Eddie Heywood   Piano
Freddy Johnson   Piano
Jo Jones   Drums
Barney Kessel   Guitar
John Kirby   Bass
Django Reinhardt   Guitar
Max Roach   Drums
Rex Stewart   Trumpet
Fats Waller   Piano,Celeste
Ben Webster   Tenor Saxophone
Gerald Wiggins   Piano
Herman Chittison   Piano
Buddy Featherstonhaugh   Tenor Saxophone
Tyree Glenn   Trombone,Vibes
Willie Lewis   Alto Saxophone
Benny Morton   Trombone
Gene Rodgers   Piano
Babe Russin   Tenor Saxophone
Don Redman   Alto Saxophone
Elisabeth Welch   Vocals
Coleman Hawkins   Clarinet,Tenor Saxophone
Freddy Gardner   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone
Freddy Webster   Trumpet
Alix Combelle   Clarinet,Tenor Saxophone
Bernard Addison   Guitar
Hayes Alvis   Bass
Jimmy Archey   Trombone
Georgie Auld   Tenor Saxophone
Everett Barksdale   Guitar
Tommy Benford   Drums
Billie Holiday   Vocals
Oscar Lee Bradley   Drums
Teddy Brannon   Piano
Percy Brice   Drums
James Cannady   Guitar
Wayman Carver   Clarinet,Flute,Alto Saxophone
Big Sid Catlett   Drums
George Chisholm   Trombone
Henry Coker   Trombone
Nat King Cole   Piano
Shad Collins   Trumpet
Sammy Davis   Tenor Saxophone
Vic Dickenson   Trombone
Bill Dillard   Trumpet
George Dorsey   Alto Saxophone
George Elrick   Drums
Joel Epps   Reeds
Herschel Evans   Tenor Saxophone
Milton Fletcher   Trumpet
Carl Frye   Alto Saxophone
Karl George   Trumpet
Gibson   Tenor Saxophone
Jimmy Harrison   Trombone
Len Harrison   Bass
J.C. Higginbotham   Trombone
Ernest "Bass" Hill   Bass
Clarence Holiday   Guitar
J.J. Johnson   Trombone
Keg Johnson   Trombone
Claude Jones   Trombone
Porter Kilbert   Alto Saxophone
Bertie King   Tenor Saxophone
Billy Kyle   Piano
Ulysses Livingston   Guitar
Lawrence Lucie   Guitar
Joseph "Kaiser" Marshall   Drums
John McConnell   Trombone
Castor McCord   Tenor Saxophone
Wilson Myers   Bass
Robert Montmarche   Drums
Alton Moore   Trombone
Wally Morris   Guitar
Yank Porter   Drums
Ernest Purce   Alto Saxophone
Keg Purnell   Drums
Irving "Mouse" Randolph   Trumpet
Alex Renard   Trumpet
Milt Robinson   Trombone
Curly Russell   Bass
Stafford Simon   Tenor Saxophone
Joe "Fox" Smith   Trumpet
Louis Taylor   Trombone
Bart Varsalona   Trombone
Madison Vaughan   Trombone
George Washington   Trombone
Dicky Wells   Trombone
Sonny White   Piano
Dave Wilborn   Banjo
Eugene d'Hellemmes   Bass
Harold Clark   Reeds
Bumps Myers   Reeds,Tenor Saxophone
Ted Fields   Drums
Glyn Paque   Alto Saxophone
E.O. Pogson   Alto Saxophone
Fred Robinson   Trombone
Nicholas Rodriguez   Piano
Gene Simon   Trombone
Leslie Thompson   Trumpet
Teddy Wilson & His Orchestra   Piano
Billy Taylor   Double Bass
Patrick Dodd   Piano
Eddie Mallory   Trumpet
Ray Webb   Guitar
Nathaniel Williams   Trumpet
Lew Davis   Trombone
Johnny Morris   Trombone
Ernie Powell   Tenor Saxophone
Duncan Whyte   Trumpet
Walter Johnson   Drums
Stanley Payne   Tenor Saxophone
Bobby Woodlen   Trumpet
Bobby Stark   Trumpet
Harvey Boone   Alto Saxophone
Joe Thomas   Trumpet
Sam Dasberg   Trumpet
Eddie Macaulay   Piano
Andy McDevitt   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone
Bill Mulraney   Trombone
Harry Van Oven   Trombone
Max Goldberg   Trumpet
Louis Stephenson   Alto Saxophone
Tommy McQuater   Trumpet
Willard Brown   Reeds,Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone
Joe Hayman   Tenor Saxophone
Lincoln Mills   Trumpet
Rolf Goldstein   Trumpet
Rufus Webster   Piano
Burke   Bass
Craig   Drums
Billy Burns   Trombone
Jimmy Williams   Tenor Saxophone
Thomas Moultrie   Bass
Chauncey Houghton   Alto Saxophone
Charley Johnson   Trombone
John Mitchell   Guitar
Dick Clark   Trumpet
Ron Felton   Vocals
John Taylor   Baritone Saxophone
George Elliot   Guitar
Capitol International Jazzmen   Track Performer
Charles "Coco" Kiehn   Tenor Saxophone
Candy Ross   Trombone
Theodore McCord   Clarinet,Tenor Saxophone
W.J. Edwards   Guitar
Shorty Haughton   Trombone
Berisford "Shep" Shepherd   Drums
Eddie Mullens   Trumpet
Johnny Russell   Tenor Saxophone
John Carroll   Trumpet
Ira Pettiford   Trumpet
Robert F. Graettinger   Reeds

Technical Credits

George Gershwin   Composer
Hoagy Carmichael   Composer
Leonard Feather   Composer
Jelly Roll Morton   Composer
Fats Waller   Composer
Ben Webster   Composer
Spike Hughes   Composer
Irving Mills   Composer
W.C. Handy   Composer
Jimmy McHugh   Composer
Don Redman   Composer
Vincent Youmans   Composer
Ned Miller   Composer
Jerome Kern   Composer
Jack Pettis   Composer
Harry Barris   Composer
Benny Carter   Composer
Ben Bernie   Composer
Will Marion Cook   Composer
Buddy DeSylva   Composer
Duke Ellington   Composer
Dorothy Fields   Composer
Ira Gershwin   Composer
Donald Heywood   Composer
Will Hudson   Composer
Benny Krueger   Composer
Herbert Magidson   Composer
Paul Mares   Composer
Ballard MacDonald   Composer
Leon Roppolo   Composer
Elmer Schoebel   Composer
Jule Styne   Composer
Harry Warren   Composer
Paul Francis Webster   Composer
Spencer Williams   Composer
Allie Wrubel   Composer
Joseph Meyer   Composer
Billy Meyers   Composer
Roger Wolfe Kahn   Composer
Vic Bellerby   Liner Notes
Mark Ranshaw   Cover Design
Maceo Pinkard   Composer
Kenneth Casey   Composer
Irving Gordon   Composer
Edward Eliscu   Composer
Mort Dixon   Composer
Seymour Simons   Composer
Gerald Marks   Composer
Gordon Clifford   Composer
Clarence Gaskill   Composer
Nat Simon   Composer
Earl Lebieg   Composer
Chester Conn   Composer
Buddy Bernier   Composer
Billy Rose   Composer

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