sealPurdue News

November 25, 2002

Saxophonist Carter revisits Reinhardt-Grapelli recordings

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – James Carter, one of the most highly regarded saxophonists on the contemporary jazz scene, will perform with his band at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, at the Long Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Lafayette.

Admission is $22 for general public, $15 for Purdue students and children K-12. Tickets can be purchased at Purdue box offices or charged by phone at (765) 494-3933 or (800) 914-SHOW. Tickets also are available at all Ticketmaster outlets. James Carter's Chasin' the Gypsy Band is presented by Purdue Convocations.

Carter strikes a balance between mainstream and free jazz. "His all-embracing musical vision and volcanic tone blow away all distinctions between swing, bop and free jazz," said Downbeat magazine. "Rather than honoring the classic compositions with a stiff neck, Carter blows their guts out, turning jazz back to its roots," Playboy magazine wrote. Carter's recordings have made both The New York Times and the Village Voice's year-end best-of lists.

His current tour is based on his recent "Chasin' the Gypsy" album, in which he offers a fresh take on the famous recordings of French Gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stephane Grapelli.

The Detroit native grew up in a family of musicians with a broad range of musical styles. He emerged on the national scene as a 17-year-old when he toured with Wynton Marsalis.

Carter later began to play with trumpeter Lester Bowie, founding member of the Art Ensemble of Chicago, who called his protégé "the greatest sax player to come around since Coltrane. ... He's the tenor player of the future."

Membership in the Julius Hemphill Sextet, accompanied by album recordings with Hemphill and Bowie before he even turned 20, led Carter to frequent appearances with the Marsalis Big Band at Lincoln Center.

His 1996 album "Conversin' with the Elders," combined his passionate playing with a group of musical guests including Bowie; trumpeter Harry "Sweets" Edison and tenorist/clarinetist Buddy Tate, both veterans of the Count Basie Orchestra; baritonist Hamiet Bluiett of World Saxophone Quartet; and altoist Larry Smith, a mainstay of the Detroit jazz scene.

As a leader of his own band, Carter has performed extensively throughout the United States, appearing in every major music festival, and tours Europe several times a year. He was featured in Robert Altman's 1996 film "Kansas City" and performed on the movie's soundtrack.

CONTACT: Larry Sommers, Purdue Convocations, (765) 494-5045,

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: A publication-quality photograph of Carter is available at

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

* To the Purdue News and Photos Page