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Ron Carter Releases “Great Big Band”

Ron Carter: Great Big Band

Add one more album to the list of 2,500+ (and counting) albums for legendary bassist Ron Carter.

But in one way, Carter’s newest album, Great Big Band, is a first. Surprisingly, Carter has never recorded a big band album.

Carter says Great Big Band was “more accidental than intentional. Having done every conceivable recording under my name, the only project I hadn’t done was leading a big band. [producer] Wendy [Macdonald] likes the way [arranger] Bob [Freedman] writes and asked him to do a project featuring his arrangements. Once he agreed, he asked me to be a part of it. I figured, hey, I’ll give it a shot.”

The 17-piece band was formed, and produced 13 tracks for the album, with Carter looking more like a big band veteran than a first-timer.

“Ron took on the role of bass player/leader as though he’d been doing it forever,” says Freedman, who has worked with Carter in many other settings over the years.

Carter and Freedman chose the album’s songbook together, with tunes Carter says “would be what people who like big bands would like to hear.”

Preview and download Great Big Band:

Great Big Band Track List:

  1. Caravan
  2. The Eternal Triangle
  3. Pork Chop
  4. Opus 1.5 (Theme for C.B.)
  5. Con Alma
  6. Sail Away
  7. Opus One
  8. Sweet Emma
  9. Saint Louis Blues
  10. Line for Lyons
  11. Footprints
  12. The Golden Striker
  13. Loose Change

The Musicians:

  • Jerry Dodgion – alto, soprano sax
  • Steve Wilson – alto sax
  • Wayne Escoffery – tenor sax
  • Scott Robinson – tenor sax
  • Jay Brandford – baritone sax
  • Charles Pillow – English horn
  • Jason Jackson – trombone
  • Steve Davis – trombone
  • James Burton III – trombone
  • Douglas Purviance – bass trombone
  • Tony Kadleck – trumpet, flugelhorn
  • Greg Gisbert – trumpet, flugelhorn
  • Jon Owens – trumpet, flugelhorn
  • Alex Norris – trumpet, flugelhorn
  • Ron Carter – bass
  • Mulgrew Miller – piano
  • Lewis Nash – drums

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Bob Freedman

Just for the record, the arranger’s name on the “Ron Carter’s Great Big Band” CD is spelled Freedman. (I know because I’m he.)