The Squid's Ear Magazine

Carter, Daniel / Jim Clouse: Playing Retention (Mahakala Music)

Known first as one of New York's finest audio engineers running Park West Studios, Jim Clouse is also a drummer and saxophonist, this his first recorded foray into free jazz partnering with legendary multi-instrumentalist Daniel Carter on sax, trumpet, piano & drums, for seven diverse and extremely well informed improvisations as each follows their natural inclinations.

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product information:

UPC: 195269082161

Label: Mahakala Music
Catalog ID: MAHA-011
Squidco Product Code: 31688

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2021
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack


Daniel Carter-saxophones, trumpet, piano, clarinet, drums

Jim Clouse-saxophones, piano, clarinet, drums

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Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"On Playing Retention, multi-instrumentalist Daniel Carter and audio engineer, saxophonist, and percussionist Jim Clouse join forces to create a vibrant collection of seven free improvisations. Their music-which features an array of instruments, including tenor, soprano, and alto saxophone, percussion, flute, clarinet, trumpet, and piano-bubbles with curiosity at every turn, embodying a feeling of fearless exploration. And while it was recorded a decade ago, with untethered exploration as its primary focus, it still feels undeniably fresh.

Playing Retention marks Clouse's first foray into the world of recorded free jazz. Over the past 20 years, he's made his name running Brooklyn, New York recording studio, Park West Studios, which has garnered a reputation as the hub for avant-garde jazz recording, mixing, and mastering. And before he went into engineering full-time, he'd toured around the city and globe playing straight-ahead jazz. But as he began working with more free jazz artists, he became more entrenched in that music scene, and began to explore it himself.

Carter and Clouse first met when Carter came to Park West Studios to record a different album. Clouse was immediately entranced by Carter's wide open ears, and his ability to allow the music to take him wherever it led. So the two spent some time jamming together, allowing themselves to follow whatever whims came their way. The goal was to play whatever they were thinking, and not to throw anything away-rather, they wanted to make every musical idea count in some way or another.

That commitment to exploration became the central tenet of Playing Retention. Clouse had never played piano before the pair improvised together, but when they did, he sat at the piano, banging out simple chords while Carter billowed uninhibited melodies elsewhere; Carter brought his characteristic do-it-yourself attitude to the table, seamlessly switching between saxophone and trumpet, clarinet and piano. Freedom of musical choice is what carries Playing Retention: cymbal swishes tingle alongside overblown saxophones while impressionistic piano wanders in an ethereal oscillation. It's impossible to predict what sound will come next, but that's what makes Playing Retention electric. "-Mahakala Music

Artist Biographies

"Daniel Carter (born December 28, 1945, in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania) is an American experimental saxophone, flute, clarinet, and trumpet player active mainly in New York City since the early 1970s.

Carter is a prolific performer and has recorded or performed with William Parker, Federico Ughi, DJ Logic, Thurston Moore, Yo La Tengo, Sun Ra, Cecil Taylor, Sonic Youth, scientist/musician Matthew Putman, Cooper-Moore, Sam Rivers, David S. Ware, Yoko Ono, Living Colour, Medensky Martin and Wood and Jaco Pastorius among others. He is a member of the cooperative free jazz groups TEST and Other Dimensions In Music."

-577 Records (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Jim Clouse is an audio engineer and musician, performing on drums and saxophone. His musical idioms are generally Jazz, Blues, Folk and World. He runs Park West Studios in Brooklyn, NY, the source of many well-recorded and well-known modern jazz records.

-Squidco 5/26/2023

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Track Listing:

1. Playing Retention 07:38

2. Two In One 02:25

3. The Gift That Keeps On 11:19

4. On Call 10:22

5. Hey, Mr. Herb Blayman! 03:43

6. Luminary Voices 11:34

7. Coin Toss 10:23

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Recordings by or featuring Reed & Wind Players
Duo Recordings
New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers

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Mahakala Music.

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