Benny Carter: An Appreciation

Carter alto

In the latest of his occasional series on arrangers and composers, Jeff Sultanof looks at the career and contributions of a man whom I once described in a liner essay as a quintuple threat, then wrote, “That was too conservative. At the height of his career, he played alto, tenor, clarinet and trumpet, composed, arranged, and sometimes played piano and sang. He is—along with Johnny Hodges and Charlie Parker—one of the three great original alto saxophone stylists in jazz. He wrote … [Read more...]

Benny Carter, An Appreciation, Continued

Mr and Mrs Benny Carter

Please see the previous post for the first installment. BENNY CARTER, PART 2 By Jeff Sultanof In 1999, I went to Los Angeles to celebrate New Year’s Eve with Jerry Graff, my mentor and second father, as well as to visit with Gene Lees and Roger Kellaway. I got a call from Ed Berger to see Benny; he was sorting out his catalog and needed some guidance. I went to his beautiful home in Beverly Hills. Carter immediately took me aback when he said, “I understand you are a very fine … [Read more...]