Wednesday, September 19, 2007


I've heard some memorable tenor saxophone battles. "Eddie "Lock Jaw" Davis and Johnny Griffin slugged it out on "Looking at Monk!" and "Live at Mintons". Dexter Gordon and Booker Ervin went toe to toe on "Setting The Pace"

Courtesy of YouTube, I got to witness tenor bout between saxophonist Joshua Redman and James Carter. They're engaged in a battle of will and skill.

If bookies were taking bets, I would've dropped a bundle on James Carter for obvious reasons. Carter is a Detroiter. Secondly, I've never seen a saxophonist of any generation let it all hang out like Carter does during his live performance.

The guy can throw some mean power shots. If you need proof just listen to "JC On The Set" and "James Carter Live at Baker's Keyboard Lounge. If you aren't convinced Carter is pound for pound the one of the best saxophonist of his generation, there's something seriously wrong with your ears.

Redman doesn't have a glass chin. He can deliver some wicked punches. Whereas Carter is a brawler, Redman is all finesse. Just listen to his albums "Wish" and "Moodswing".

This was a blood and guts tenor bout. Carter came out aiming for the head. Redman countered note for note, working the changes to "Straight No Chaser" like a speed bag. The battle was too close to call. I want to see a rematch. Until then checkout this video footage.

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