Ron Carter’s Great Big Band (Sunnyside)
The venerable bassist’s first recording at the helm of a big band has style, depth and power. The playlist of jazz standards may suggest that Carter and arranger Robert Freedman are plowing old ground, but they produce a crop of fresh ideas. They transform “Opus One,” “Con Alma,” “Sail Away,” “The Golden Striker,” “St. Louis Blues” and eight others. Harmonically and rhythmically, Carter leads. He solos, but does not dominate the album, leaving space for Steve Wilson, Greg Gisbert, Wayne Escoffery, Jerry Dodgion, Mulgrew Miller and Scott Robinsona few of the 17 top-flight members of the band.