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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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DVD REVIEW

 

BENNY CARTER

All-Stars

Gazell Film by Music Video
Distributors MVD 5214D

 

 


1. Stockholm Riff
2. Here's That Rainy Day
3. Work Song
4. Just Friends
5. Lover Man
6. What is This Thing Called Love?

Benny Carter - Alto sax
Nat Adderley - Trumpet
Red Norvo - Vibes
Horace Parlan - Piano
Red Mitchell - Bass
Ronnie Gardiner - Drums

 

Filmed at Stockholm's Stromsborg Restaurant in July 1985, this DVD assembles six musicians from various backgrounds to play together under the leadership of altoist Benny Carter, who was then aged 77. They open with a Carter composition, Stockholm Riff, which is an easy-going blues which provides an ideal vehicle for Benny to solo fluently, Nat Adderley to unleash torrents of notes, and Red Mitchell to play a masterly bass solo.

Red Norvo is featured in Here's That Rainy Day, playing the melody with the vibraphone's fans on but then improvising with them off, remindiung us of his days at the xylophone. Nat Adderley is spotlit in his composition Work Song and even sings in an imprecise fashion. Horace Parlan adds a bluesy piano solo.

Benny Carter features himself in a leisurely Just Friends, with the muted trumpet of Nat Adderley and Red Norvo's vibes in support. Lover Man perfectly suits Carter's soaring alto, and a mid-tempo take on Cole Porter's What is This Thing Called Love? rounds off a low-key session. Drummer Ronnie Gardiner gets his first chance to show off by swapping fours with bassist red Mitchell.

With a meagre six tracks and a running time of only 34 minutes, this DVD may seem unworthy of a buyer's attention, but it contains some agile musicianship without ever becoming loud or overblown. The sound is good and the pictures are clear.

Tony Augarde

www.augardebooks.co.uk



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