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Kent Carter (double bass) leads a string trio comprised of Albert Maurer (violin) and Katrin Mickiewicz (viola) in an enchanting set of recordings made in Koln, Sers, and Bonn during 2004.

Carter String Trio, Kent

Carter String Trio, Kent: Intersections (Emanem)
Label: Emanem    
Released in: Great Britain    

Entering into the music of the Kent Carter String Trio can be an unsettling experience. One has the feeling that fiction and reality have conspired to ensnare us in their own magic web. We arrive, curious and confident, ready to listen to the music that a famous American double bass player Kent Carter, a prominent exponent of contemporary jazz, has written for a string trio, a traditional line-up in European chamber music. And this is such music, even though in this case the double bass has replaced the 'cello to create, almost imperceptibly, an unusual atmosphere.

The thing that surprises us most is that everything comes together as if by a sort of miracle, even though we know clearly that no miracle was involved. What we hear here is above all one dominant musical concept which can be situated at the confluence of two streams of musical history. One is that of European chamber music, whose harmonic and melodic inventions very early on influenced the writing of jazz that was already 'scholarly'. The other is jazz, from which European music borrowed valuable elements to enrich its rhythms, widen its instrumental techniques, and to develop the spontaneity and expressivity of its interpreters.

But Kent Carter's project does not operate a sort of fusion like Third Stream, which has been evolving since the emergence of ragtime. He is more concerned with the playful dialectic between formal writing and improvisation. Kaleidoscopic constructions reveal similarities, reinforce contrasts and create ruptures. These draw their logic from an intensive study of sound and of different ways of producing sounds. Thus we find the current preoccupations with 'extended techniques' and the nomenclature of these many new effects discovered by musicians exploring the possibilities of their instruments: pizzicato, slapping, popping, spiccato or col arco with the hair or the back of the bow, sul tasto or sul ponticello, glissando or staccato, legato, martellato or saltellato, open strings, double stopping and flageolet effects, amidst others which remain to be given a name. Everything is possible!

This is not an egotistical exercise to demonstrate virtuosity, but comes from the necessity to integrate the sound material with the structure of the music. All of this requires virtuoso players in order to blend the flow of the music with the techniques which produce it. In this context, it is undeniable that Katrin Mickiewicz and Albert Maurer have proved their incredible mastery of the viola and violin respectively.

Any music-lover wandering in the vast forest of strings, and not going round in circles, must one day arrive at one of the intersections where Kent Carter awaits them. In their turn they will be able to experience the pleasure of being transported into a universe that's almost familiar, unless they discover an unknown universe where they feel at home."-from the sleeve notes, Bernard Prouteau

See all items in the EMANEM & psi category

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
London & UK Free Improvisation Scene
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
EMANEM & psi
Trio Recordings

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Price: $17.95
In Stock


Shipping Weight: 4.00 units

Quantity in Basket: None

Product Information:

UPC: 5030243413027

Label: Emanem
Catalog ID: 4130
Squidco Product Code: 6926

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2006
Country: Great Britain
Packaging: Jewel tray, not sealed.
Recorded at Koln, Friedenskirche, January 2004 (7, 9), Sers, Angouleme, August 2004 (1), and Bonn, Alte Kirche, Bonn-Kessenich (2-6, 8).


Albert Maurer-violin

Katrin Mickiewicz-viola

Kent Carter-double bass

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Track Listing:

1. March 17 15:20

2. Blithe 5:26

3. Eigens Fur Eidens 12:43

4. Intentions #1 3:28

5. Exuberance 10:48

6. Pulapka 6:13

7. Who Might That Be? 3:12

8. Blues Suite 9:03

9. In The Mean Time 2:46