Benny Carter

Benny-Carter 3Born 1907 NYC, arranger, composer, bandleader, alto saxophonist, and trumpet player, Benny Carter had one of the longest and most celebrated careers in jazz that spanned some 70 years until his death in 2003. A true original, he was a pioneer alto sax soloist and one of the most important and innovative arrangers in all of jazz.

Benny Carter - Episode 1

Benny Carter's works were performed by Fletcher Henderson, Duke Ellington, Paul Whiteman, and many other renowned bandleaders of the pre swing and swing era. Carter gives us the “sax soli” i.e. a method of writing for the saxophone section that highlights the tone, full sound, and dexterity of the instrument.
CompositionArtistYear
When the Lights are LowBenny Carter and His Swing Quartet1936
P.D.Q. BluesFletcher Henderson Orchestra (arr. by Benny Carter)1927
Six of Seven TimesLittle Chocolate Dandies (Benny Carter Orchestra)1929
Keep a Song in Your SoulFletcher Henderson Orchestra (arr. by Benny Carter)1930
Somebody Loves MeFletcher Henderson Orchestra (arr. by Benny Carter)1930

Benny Carter - Episode 2

Benny Carter enjoyed great popularity as a bandleader, arranger/composer, and soloist in the 1930’s. He spent 3 years in the mid 1930’s in Europe recording and performing with many expatriate American musicians as well as many celebrated European jazz musicians. His popularity as an arranger and soloist were known world-wide by this time. I will play some of his most memorable recordings that feature his arranging skills, as well as his soloing.
CompositionArtistYear
Krazy KapersThe Chocolate Dandies with Teddy Wilson1933
Lonesome NightsThe Benny Carter Orchestra1933
Symphony in RiffsThe Benny Carter Orchestra1933
New Swing StreetBenny Carter and the Ramblers1937