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James Carter Press

The Quest For THE Perfect Mouthpiece – James Carter Article Featured in Downbeat

There’s an inner musical tree that grows in each and every one of us.” —Dexter Gordon, as the character Dale Turner in the 1986 film Round Midnight (Warner Bros.).

This quote is so eternally true for those of us who search for musical gratification beyond imitation of our idols. But in our search, it is often our equipment that hinders our “tree” from flourishing and bearing the personal results that encourage us on to artistic heights yet attained. Your horn(s) of choice are an important factor in this task, but even more crucial in this endeavor is the “golden spike” that fuses human and instrument together in the perpetual dance of artistic expression: the quest for THE perfect mouthpiece.

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He is the complete musician, a technician with no apparent limits and a poet of deep sensibility. Indeed, Carter’s eloquent turn through the concerto’s balladlike slow movement drew an early ovation.
– DETROIT NEWS

There were passages in the program, especially during pieces such as Joe Henderson’s “Recorda Me,” in which Carter played with a surprisingly soft and tender sound, his improvisations filled with subtle melodic paraphrases. At other times, he added an appealing, burry edge to his tone—the result calling up images, on soprano saxophone, of Sidney Bechet.
-Don Heckman, LOS ANGELES TIMES