A jazz performance with real drive – James Carter Electric Outlet at the Jazzclub Unterfahrt in Munich

I have rested writing for quite a while unintendedly. I did not find the right topic or was simply too busy. However, the past Sunday I really experienced such a drive from a jazz concert, I could not resist to write a few paragraphs on it.

james carter

To start with a citation from James Carter’s biography and how he sees the role of music in his life: You have to be totally comfortable wherever, I feel that music equals life, that’s the way my teacher always taught me. You just can’t go through life and experience it fully with a set of blinders on. I think there’s tremendous beauty in cross-pollinations of music and influences.”

Let’s pick out a few keywords from this citation and walk through the performance of James Carter Electric Outlet at the Jazzclub Unterfahrt in Munich. To experience life fully with blinders is truly impossible when listening to this quartet. James Carters’s choice of saxophones (soprano, alto, tenor) and the different techniques he freely employs, the way a medley evolves into a free-jazz compositions or how he uses the mouthpiece of his saxophone for a  rhythmic intersection. Not a single facet is missing when you listen to James Carter.

Usually there is maybe one more musician I would focus, but in this case the whole band and each member of it was brilliant by himself. The blues duels between Gerard Gibbs on the keys and Ralphe Armstrong on the e-bass along with the deep southern accent when presenting made one feel listening to the blues from the Mississippi delta.

Coming back to the above citation: the cross – pollinations of music and influences were present in all the pieces. More obvious and maybe best explained influences from daily life were represented in the composition by the drummer, Alex White, Nasty Things. On the one hand this piece expresses a deep respect to women, who inspire men to good and bad things, but also bases on the philosophy of the South-African tribe Ubuntu: “I have what I have, you have what you have.”

If in the first half the jazz club got heated up on this already hot day temperature-wise, then in the second half the audience absorbed the sound of the quartet in various forms: some silently with closed eyes and some giving a short shout after an improvisation.