Gold Sounds (Brown Brothers Recordings) with pianist Cyrus Chestnut, bassist Reginald Veal and drummer Ali Jackson in a collaborative outing of covers of songs by the pop band Pavement.
Present Tense, Carter’s debut album on UMG’s EMARCY label was released in 2008. Produced by esteemed jazz sage Michael Cuscuna, the ten-pack of animated tunes range from jazz standards given new rhythmic traction to three originals, including the sunny, Brazilian-tinted “Bossa J.C.” Carter, who plays a trinity of saxophones (soprano, tenor and baritone), flute and bass clarinet is backed by a top drawer group, including the trumpeter Dwight Adams, pianist D.D. Jackson, bassist James Genus and drummer Victor Lewis, with guest appearances by guitarist Rodney Jones and percussionist Eli Fountain.
In late 2009, James Carter headlined for Heaven on Earth where he led an all-star group of modern jazz musicians through a live session
Whether he’s playing tenor or soprano sax, shows off a sweet, sinuous tone; when he reinterprets Reinhardt’s classic Nuages with a bass sax, the muscular sound is distancing at first, but then it wraps itself around the listener like an anaconda.
The music, commissioned by the DSO and written for Carter, shows off his brilliant technical command of the tenor and soprano saxes and carves out space for improvisation in which his ideas burst like fireworks.