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Benny Carter


The fact that Benny Carter has played a sublime alto saxophone (and sometimes trumpet, piano, and clarinet) since the 1920s has obscured his other accomplishments. Carter has written great standards (When Lights are Low among countless others), arranged for bands and singers (like Peggy Lee); led groups that contained such peers as Ben Webster, Milt Jackson, and Miles Davis; and has written arrangements for feature films since the '40s. But Carter does indeed play a beautiful saxophone, and along with Johnny Hodges, he was considered the role model on the alto sax. Once Charlie Parker came along, Carter's style (fluid, pure, and romantic) still seemed current. Indeed, every revolution in jazz, from Bop to Cool to Soul Jazz has had a place for him. Benny Carter performed, wrote and recorded well into his nineties, finally passing over to the next world in 2003
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