Jazz bassist Ron Carter has appeared on more than 3,500 albums, including collections with trumpeter Mile Davis in the 1960s. He is considered one of the most-recorded bassists in jazz history. As we hear from VOA's Doug Levine, Carter pays tribute to his former bandleader on his latest solo effort, "Dear Miles."
Ron Carter was a member of the so-called "second great" Miles Davis Quintet for only five years, but they were some of the most memorable of his 47-year career. He joined the group in 1963, and played alongside pianist Herbie Hancock, saxophonist Wayne Shorter, drummer Tony Williams, and of course, Miles Davis.
Carter made his debut with the Quintet on the album Seven Steps To Heaven.
Ron Carter first learned to play classical cello but later switched to bass. After graduating with a Master's degree in double bass from the Manhattan School of Music, he worked with some of the era's biggest names, including Wes Montgomery, Thelonious Monk, Cannonball Adderly and Chico Hamilton. He played jazz cello on his first album as a leader, titled Where?
Since leaving the Miles Davis Quintet in 1968, Carter has been one of jazz music's most sought-after musicians. In addition to the scores of jazz greats he's performed with, Carter has recorded more than 25 albums under his own name.
Ron Carter's Dear Miles features his longtime quartet: Pianist Stephen Scott, percussionist Roger Squitero and drummer Payton Crossley. So, is it possible to make a Miles Davis tribute album without a trumpeter? According to Carter, his collection paints a picture of Miles Davis the innovator. He says, it "honors Miles' uncanny ability to find a song no one else has tried and, like 'Bye Bye Blackbird,' make it essential to the jazz songbook."